[Editor’s note: Today’s guest article, by Conejo’s own Jon Burke, provides a self-reflective meditation on the impact we have on fellow believers and the importance of being allies to one another.]
“As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red again, I sat there thinking about life.
Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seems that way.” ~ Jack Handy
I have recently reconsidered my effect on others based on two ideas.
First is the idea that you remain the hero of your own story even when you become the villain of someone else’s. That made me realize that broadcasting on Facebook my ideas about politics and society has made me an enemy for too many of my Christian brothers and sisters.
The other idea is that walking the Christian life can be so hard that I should focus on playing my part well, and be careful to not discourage others as they play their parts. C.S. Lewis compares the Christian walk to being in a play: “But how can the characters in a play guess the plot? We are not the playwright, we are not the producer, we are not even the audience. We are on the stage. To play well the scenes in which we are “on” concerns us much more than to guess about the scenes that follow it.”
One of my biggest parts in our Christian play was obeying the commandment “Honor your father and mother”. That brought both great joy and great cost. My mother lived 5 years after I returned to my native Southern California. During that time, Lynn and I honored her by including her in many joyful trips to Ye Olde Medieval Times, dining at middle-eastern restaurants, and socializing with other family members. But as my mother’s health declined, honoring her included stressful trips to the Emergency Room, making sure her ventilator was working right, finding an assisted living facility — and figuring out how to pay for it.
I’m encouraged by the commitment that my Conejo brothers and sisters have to meeting the needs of others, no matter the cost. We are allies in this struggle and do not stand alone.
Love and peace,