Understanding December 1988
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
‘The period of time from Thanksgiving to Christmas is, or should be, one of joy and appreciation of the many blessings we have received during the past year. Some, who have been ill treated by fate, may say, “What have I to be thankful for?” To these we can only reply, I had no shoes, and I complained bitterly, until I met a man who had no feet!”
Some of the most difficult of the hidden-meaning passages are those which speak of, “The wrath of God,” and the dire punishments which He may inflict upon those who incur His anger.
The fact must be recognized that God has never been angry with man, or with any other part of His creation, nor will He ever be! Anger is an animal emotion, reflecting fear and futility. It is common to man, but can never be Divine.
God does not punish man. Man, whether he realizes it or not, punishes himself, although he usually manages to put the blame on God.
The average child learns, at a rather early age, that if he puts his hand into a fire, his hand will be burned. He does not say, how ever, that this is because the fire is angry with him for his temerity, nor that it is punishing him for his act. The child simply learns that it is the nature of fire to burn and, although fire is necessary to the welfare of man, proper care must be exercised in approaching and using it.
As a child goes through life it learns many natural laws, some it may accept as valid without testing, others it must learn through the pain and loss that results when they are ignored.
It should be better understood that the laws of God are the laws of nature. They are all based upon unalterable fact, and not upon the passing whims of a petulant dictator. If someone drops a lighted match into an open barrel of gunpower, it does not require any special act of God to bring about the event that will follow immediatly and inevitably.
The child who eats all of the cookies in the jar because its mother is visiting the neighbors and can not see it, will find that the resulting stomach ache is independent of the parent’s observation. Unfortunately, there are many laws of God and nature which man does not yet comprehend, and even more which he has been taught, but which he will not accept as immutable laws. He still has the feeling that,” “If no one is looking” He can ignore the law’ and nothing will happen.
The deceptive feeling that some of the natural laws can be ignored with impunity probably stems from the fact that the result of a given act does not always (like the barrel of gunpower), follow immediatly upon the act itself, and so the temporary illusion may be created that there will be none.
If only man could learn that the laws of God were not made for God’s benefit, but for man’s welfare and guidance; that the laws are immutable facts which cannot be escaped by anyone; the need for policemen, judges and jails which would shrink amazingly, and mankind would be relieved of the major part of his suffering and loss.
(signed Daniel W. Fry)