Have you noticed that our energies often get "all-in-a-tizzie" ( that's a nice way to say we loose it 🙂 when someone does something in a fashion that is different from the way we do it, or the way we think it should be done? Suddenly we become the champion and expert of our way of doing things and decide that we must teach all others the correct way for it to be done!
I see this far too often in the church. In everything from "this is how you pray" to " this is how you read the Bible" or even "you're not really following God unless you…" I wonder where our need to correct everybody else comes from.
I came across this parable that just made me smile…meditate on this today.
We Are Three You Are Three
When the Bishop's ship stopped at a remote island for a day, he determined to use the time as profitably as possible. He strolled along the seashore and came across three fishermen mending their nets. In pidgin English they explained to him that centuries before they had been Christianized by missionaries. "We Christians!" they said, proudly pointing to one another.
The bishop was impressed. Did they know the Lord's prayer? They had never heard of it. The bishop was shocked.
"What do you say, then, when you pray?"
"We lift eyes in heaven. We pray, 'We are three, you are three, have mercy on us.' The bishop was appalled at the primitive, the downright heretical nature of their prayer. So he spent the whole day teaching them the Lord's Prayer. The fishermen were poor learners, but they gave it all they had and before the bishop sailed away the next day he had the satisfaction of hearing them go through the whole formula without a fault.
Months later, the bishop's ship happened to pass by those islands again and the bishop, as he paced the deck saying h is evening prayers, recalled with pleasure the three men on the island ho were now able to pray, thanks to his patient efforts.
While he was lost in thought he happened to look up and noticed a spot of light in the East. The light kept approaching the ship and, as the bishop gazed in wonder, he saw three figures WALKING ON THE WATER!
The captain stopped the boat and everyone leaned over the rails to see this sight. When they were within speaking distance, the bishop recognized his three friends, the fishermen.
"Bishop!" they exclaimed. "We hear your boat go past island and come hurry-hurry meet you."
"What is it you want?" asked the awe-stricken bishop.
"Bishop," they said, "we, so sorry. We forget lovely prayer. We say, 'Our Father in heaven, holy be your name, your kingdom come…' then we forget. Please tell us prayer again."
The bishop felt humbled. "Go back to your homes, my friends." he said, "and each time you pray, say, 'We are three, you are three, have mercy on us!'"
Today, release others from having to do everything "your way," In many ways we are as limited by our knowledge as we are by our lack of knowledge. Wisdom teaches us the application in our souls of our understanding. Wisdom also teaches us to smile and then release our need to rule, judge, control, and correct those who do it different than we do. When was the last time you walked on water?