I never will forget the look on his face. He was a brave and honest man and his spiritual journey had brought him to the Orthodox Church. He had taken the classes I required to become a catechumen. He had attended services as I had asked, so, when he was made a catechumen he asked a natural questions. "Father, how long will I be a catechumen before I am made one of the faithful?" A natural and sensible question. So, you can imagine a bit of his surprise and confusion when I responded "I don't know." He cocked his head to one side and squinted his eyes and said "Huh?"
Say what you will about the old TV shows: They were naive. They weren't completely honest. They were sentimental. All of that may be true, but at least they attempted to foster the best of our hopes and dreams rather than pandering to our lowest desires. One such show was "Father Knows Best." Robert Young played the dad and the comedy was gentle, but the show focused on a good natured father who really was a source of wisdom and example for his family. So, yeah, it may have been a bit unrealistic, but at least dad was the hero instead of the buffoon or the tyrant so often portrayed in today's media.
Today we hear two stories of people whose faith made them whole and snatched joy from the mouth of despair. It was faith that made the difference. Do you have faith? If so then you are also being made whole and there simply aren’t any “impossible” situations in your life. In light of that reality, are you sure you have faith? Don’t miss tonight’s Faith Encouraged LIVE with Fr. Barnabas. We are…
Looking forward to talking with you and my special guests Fr. James Ellison and his wife as we discuss the Orthodox Way to grieve well! That's tomorrow night at ancientfaith.com/live! Please share this with someone you know!
It scared me to death! I was convinced something was lurking in the dark in my room, and I wasn't about to shut my eyes! After all, it was only my constant vigilance and watchfulness that was keeping whatever was "out there" away from me, right? Imagine my surprise when sleep finally took me and I woke up the next morning unharmed! Such is the life of a 7 year old whose mind has convinced him that the shadows in his room are not empty!
A popular show (on PBS no less) is Downton Abbey. And that's a bit surprising to me since we Americans seem to always be gripped, al least in our rhetoric, with this notion of egalitarianism. But this popular show is very much about the clear stratification of "classes" and the "drama" of etiquette and class.
In that society, a violation of what is "acceptable" can be an "unforgivable" mistake that scares one's reputation for a lifetime. "What, he didn't extend his pinky while holding his tea cup!? Unforgivable!"
The playground bully was speechless. He was bigger than me. He was stronger than me. And he was better at fighting than me in every way except one. I was faster on my feet with a verbal response. He had just taunted me about being a "weak, mama's boy" and I responded "I know you are but what am I?" Huh? I could see the confusion on his face. I watched as he tried to process the verbal judo I had used to throw him off balance in our confrontation. He just didn't get it. So, in the fog of confusion he went back to his old tried and true method of dealing with situations like this. He beat me up! Well, that didn't turn out like I had hoped.
Distracted again! And once again the familiar reminder! "Sweetheart, stop watching the IPad and finish your homework." Back to the task, but slowly the distraction returns and the pull of what I want rather than what I need starts its all too familiar tug of war inside my precious 8 year old. But, hey, she's young, She hasn't learned how to discipline her actions and desires. That's why I'm called to parent her.
But wait, what about when my distractions leave important things in my life unfinished? Could that be a similar symptom of childishness winning out over wisdom? Yeah, I know. I hate it when it's that obvious!
"Well, you should have known better!" Oh how I hated hearing that from my mom. It was the tone in her voice as well as the words. You know the one. The tone that communicated disappointment, disapproval, AND frustration all at the same time! Oh, I HATED it! But what made things worse was she was right! I SHOULD HAVE known better. In fact, I did know better and yet, there I go again. Amazing. And here I was a "grown man" making the mistakes of a teenager! ARRGH! (By the way, that's a very technical term I learned from Charlie Brown.)