Devotion – October 7 – Time to Save the World
Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk, who lived out his faith in a way that touched many people, was asked by a reporter near the end of his life about the seven years of solitude he spent in a monastery, speaking to no one. The reporter wanted to know of what importance those years were. Merton replied, “In those seven years, me and twenty other monks spent 16 hours a day praying. We helped save the world.”
That’s an amazing statement isn’t it – to say, “I helped save the world.” It is also a statement most of us would NOT make. Yes, we believe that Christianity makes a difference in the world, and yes, we believe that prayer makes a difference – but to take those two beliefs to their the conclusion that states: “By it we saved the world,” is for us – sadly, I might add – giving Christianity and prayer too much credit.
Do you believe Christianity makes a difference in the world? Do you believe your faith makes a difference? Do you believe in the power of prayer? If so, do not shirk off Merton’s claim of saving the world quickly. There is power in our faith and there is power in our prayer.
We might not think we have that much power on our own – and you would be right – but please understand that we are not the ones with the power, but in faith and through prayer, we are connecting to the One who does. Through prayer, worship and faith, we allow God’s power to flow through us to the world.
Let me share with you a fable. One day a little white rabbit was sitting in the field scribbling on a pad of paper, when a fox came along ready to eat him. Before he killed the rabbit the fox asked, “What are you doing, little rabbit?” – “I’m working on my dissertation,” said the rabbit.
“Really?” asked the fox. “And what is your topic?”
“If you must know,” said the rabbit, “I’m advancing a theory that rabbits can eat many quite large animals, including for instance, foxes.”
“Surely you have no evidence for that,” scoffed the fox.
“Yes, I do,” said the rabbit, “and if you’d like to step inside this cave for a moment, I’ll be glad to show you.” So the fox followed the rabbit into the cave. About half an hour passed, the rabbit came back out, brushing a tuft of fox fur off his chin, and began once more to scribble on his pad of paper.
News spreads quickly in the forest, and it wasn’t long before a curious wolf came along. “I hear you’re writing a thesis, little rabbit.”
“Yes,” said the rabbit, scribbling away. “I hear you believe that rabbits can eat larger animals.”
“Yes,” said the rabbit, “including for example, wolves.”
The wolf howled with laughter.
“I see you don’t believe me,” said the rabbit. “Perhaps you would like to step inside this cave and see my experimental apparatus.”
Licking her chops, the world followed the rabbit into the cave, prepared to eat him. About half an hour passed and the rabbit came out of the cave with his pad of paper, munching on what looked like the end of a long grey tail.
Then along came a big brown bear. “What’s this I hear about your belief that rabbits can eat big animals,” he said flexing his muscles. “And an experiment you conduct inside the cave.”
“That’s right,” said the rabbit, putting down his pencil. “And if you want to see it, I’ll gladly show you.” In the cave they want. A half hour later, the rabbit came out again picking his teeth with a big bear claw.
By now all the animals in the forest were getting very nervous about the rabbits project and power. A little mouse was elected to sneak up and peek into the cave when the rabbit’s back was turned. There the mouse discovered that the mystery of the rabbit’s power. In finding the power, the mouse also found a moral. The mystery’s “apparatus” inside the cave was an enormous lion.
It was not the rabbit who was to be feared but the rabbit’s powerful friend.
We live in a difficult time: we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Our political system and democracy is being stretched to its limits. Our churches cannot do the ministry it wants too, nor in the way we want to. Families are facing difficult times due to the isolation, the economic situation and schools trying to stay open, only to close.
Times are tough, it’s okay to admit that. It is also okay to say this: “We have to save this world!” We as a Christian people, need to step up and use the power of God, not to try to attain earthly power, but to help touch people’s lives and make the world a place where all are blessed.
~ In Christ, Dan