In his book, Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman recounts a story of an American soldier in Vietnam. His platoon was hunkered down in the rice paddies locked into the heat of a firefight with the Vietcong.
The rice fields in Vietnam are often separated by an earthen beam, and on this day, a line of six Buddhist monks started walking along the elevated beam separating the field where the American soldiers lay hugging the ground and the field where the Vietcong were also crouched in battle.
The monks walked directly toward the line of fire, calmly and steadily. They did not look to the left or to the right, they just kept walking. The soldier reported, “It was really strange because nobody shot at ’em. And after they walked over the beam, suddenly all the fight was out of me. It just didn’t feel like I wanted to do this anymore, at least not that day. It must have been that way for everybody, because everybody quit. We just stopped fighting.”
Of course, I cannot say what any of us are called to do. I can only say that anyone who chooses to walk with God may well be completely out of step with the expectations of the people at work, the neighborhood or the family. Sometimes, it seems, God’s people are called to walk right through the field of fire, faithfully, sacrificially, loyally, and do what we have been called to do by Jesus.
Thanks to Roger Ray and thanks to Sippakorn Yamkasikorn for the picture.
Think of a time when “the fight” went out of YOU, not because YOU were tired or exhausted, but because YOU felt the call to peace and harmony inside.
PRAY WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE WORRYING. GIVE THANKS WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE COMPLAINING. KEEP GOING WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE QUITTING!
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