Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sabbath School 06/02/11 - The Devil ain't no telepath

I learnt something fascinating at Sabbath School yesterday: Satan cannot read our minds! Ain't that just wonderful! Now, I was prepared to ignore this particular bit of childish fantasizing, but I really could not pass on the whopper that followed. Want to know how to thwart him? Don't say your thoughts out loud. Yeah, that's right. If you do, he can then us his knowledge against you and place corresponding temptations in your path.

And here I am thinking, are these real, fully grown adults saying these things? I mean, this is the kind of thing you'd expect to hear from kids, sort of like "don't say 'boogeyman' three times while you're in bed or else he'll appear underneath it"! I've found myself noticing these things a lot of late and I tend to get this "like, seriously?" smile on my face when I do. People then tend to think it's because I have something to say but when they ask me I politely decline and say "no, it's nothing." I'm beginning to feel that this, coupled with the fact that I barely say more than ten words from the time I enter the church gates to the time I leave has got them thinking I am a very odd person indeed.

Well, this is what religion really is, a system of childish beliefs held by people who've somehow failed to grow up(in a bad way - not growing up is good in certain circumstances), throw off the shackles of reckless fantasy and embrace the cold, hard truth of reality and make something good out of it.

On a sadder note, oner of the church elders is currently in a critical condition in hospital. He's an ex-alcoholic and his godless past is finally catching up with him. Now, just a few weeks ago everyone had been praising God for his miraculous recovery and saying how marvelous He'd been in answering their prayers (the elder had been in hospital for quite a while before that).

Now, I am not going to use this as an opportunity to gloat - I am not some heartless, evil demon. But I do wish to deliver a lesson through this. Put simply: sometimes people get better. Sometimes they don't. It's the way of life - no hocus-pocus magic men in the sky necessary.

I am definitely hoping the old man gets beter. He's a genial, soft-spoken fellow and I have developed quite a soft spot for him. I haven't a shadow of a doubt that hands of flesh and blood are doing their best to keep him with us, and I hope they succeed. All we can do in addition to this is to let him know that we are behind him and hoping for his recovery. In fact, this is where I think prayer makes a difference, in lending the person and their family support in their trying hour - no magic involved. And let's also not belittle the advances in science that actually give him a shot at survival he would not have had mere decades ago.

P.S. - About a week ago I reported that 2011 is the Seventh-Day Adventist Year of Revival and Reformation. Well, as it turns out, the theme isn't just for this year, but the next five years (couldn't find any links - I heard it at church yesterday).

EDIT(7/2/11 - 22:35) - I've just learnt that the elder I spoke about has passed away. They'll probably never read this, but his family has my deepest sympathies.

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