• Elpidio Pezzella

Do not be conditioned

"He who observes the wind will not sow, And he who regards the clouds will not reap". Ecclesiastes 11:4

What animates our actions? Do we look first at those around us? The apostle Paul recommended Timothy, young and not mature enough, to look after himself (1Timothy 4:16), as if to tell him not to be conditioned by anything or anyone. Otherwise, even if we decide to decide freely, we run the risk instead of being conditioned by the judgments of the past, deposited on our lives as parasites, both of the present such as the fear of making mistakes or never to live up to. Ecclesiastes recommended to go beyond the apparent, because if you listen to the wind or observe the clouds you could always postpone the time of sowing. Rather throw the bread on the water without expecting anything immediately, because what you do will produce its fruit over time. Unquestionably, there are behaviors that are affected by anxieties, discomforts and even anger, but careful not to be caged, because there has been given to us "a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind" (2Timothy 1:7), that in his action he brings and manifests freedom (2Corinthians 3:17). Nehemiah would never have rebuilt the city walls if he had listened to those who hindered him. A farmer had a donkey. One day the animal fell into a well, and although it could not go out. He raked for hours, until the farmer, hearing the harrowing laments, rushed to the spot. He tried in various ways to get him out but, after futile attempts, he resigned himself to the idea that there was no hope of saving him. The well was dry and the donkey very old. To alleviate the suffering he reluctantly decided to fill the well with earth. He asked for help from the other peasants to fill the well with earth. The poor animal, at the noise of the palate and the clods of earth that rained on him understood the intentions and burst into a weeping cry. At one point, however, the donkey remained silent. No one had the courage to lean into the well as they continued to throw the ground. When the master looked in the well and was surprised by the scene: the donkey was shaking from the rump every palate of earth that fell on him, and climbed on it. In this way, as the peasants threw the ground, he rose more and more, until he reached the edge of the well, jumped out with a jump and began to trot happily. That's it. Like the donkey with the earth, each of us should strive to turn every adverse situation into an opportunity, letting criticisms and judgments slip on us, launched to bury, remove hope or curb goodwill. Equally, every time life tries to sink us, the secret is to shake the earth off and take a step upward. In this way every problem will turn into a step that will lead us to the exit. "As you do not know what is the way of the wind, Orhow the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything" (Ecclesiastes 11:5). In fact, even when there is no hope for others, God always has the solution to get us out. Jesus invited the disciples to rejoice in the moment of opposition, because that is an indicator of the grand prize that awaits us (Luke 6:22-23). As we do not wish to be restrained and conditioned, so let us strive to be of encouragement for others, to open our mouths just to say good words. Devotional 11/2018 Weekly Bible reading plan March 12 Deuteronomy 16-18; Mark 13: 1-20 March 13 Deuteronomy 19-21; Mark 13: 21-37 March 14 Deuteronomy 22-24; Mark 14: 1-26 March 15 Deuteronomy 25-27; Mark 14: 27-53 March 16 Deuteronomy 28-29; Mark 14: 54-72 March 17 Deuteronomy 30-31; Mark 15: 1-25 March 18 Deuteronomy 32-34; Mark 15: 26-47

Photo by Tushar Tajane, www.freeimages.com

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