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In one of my recent posts I talked about “acceptance”, and how difficult it was for me to get the concept. This old Zen story illustrates it at its extreme

During the civil wars in feudal Japan, an invading army would quickly sweep into a town and take control. In one particular village, everyone fled just before the army arrived - everyone except the Zen master.

Curious about this old fellow, the general went to the temple to see for himself what kind of man this master was. When he wasn't treated with the deference and submissiveness to which he was accustomed, the general burst into anger. 
"You fool," he shouted as he reached for his sword, "don't you realize you are standing before a man who could run you through without blinking an eye!"

But despite the threat, the master seemed unmoved. 
"And do you realize," the master replied calmly, "that you are standing before a man who can be run through without blinking an eye?"

As crazy as it sounds, I now believe that acceptance is the only way we will ever know lasting contentment in this life.

You see, we spend an enormous amount of energy trying to get the world to be the way we want it. As Christians we often as God for a “laundry list” of things. When he doesn’t grant our request, we feel like he isn’t listening. I’ve talked to many so-called Atheists who fit this category. It wasn’t that they didn’t believe in God, in actuality they had asked for something, he didn’t produce it, so they determined there was no God. Now that they know God I can tease them and say “That’s kind of like me saying I have no father because he didn’t buy me that new car when I turned 16, right?” <grin>

The ‘trick’ is to conform our wants and desires to what the world really is, instead of what we want it to be.

My prayer for the day is simply “God, please grant me the knowledge of your will for me and the power to carry it out. “

The group of people who taught me that simple prayer are a pretty happy bunch. For that matter, I’m mighty happy myself.


If you aren’t, maybe you should try it… even if you don’t believe. One of my atheist friends did and he said it worked “even though he didn’t believe in God when he said the prayer!”