Saturday, December 15, 2012

Samurai or Samaritan

 We often are entertained by violence or a contest between boxers or wrestling matches, the human spirit is competitive. We read in history of warriors and my favorite the Samurai. Is being competitive healthy? Are we all to become like passive young lambs or should we become lions? This often would seems the case as it is suggested and many stereotypes or misunderstandings exist for the christian that make it hard to accept the faith.  Who would want to become a sheep?


 The Samurai were a well trained warrior that served the shogun or lord. The Christian is not a sheep but more related to a lion. The truly healthy christian spirit is competitive and strong. The actual battle begins not in an arena dome but in the small dome we call the mind. The mind is a battleground worthy of any Samurai. The enemy would like us to crawl away in a cave and never be seen. It would seem strange that God would allow us to be attacked by evil. I once confronted the being called the evil one it was like a goblin creature. It was very strange indeed as even though it is written about in the bible and many spiritual text does evil exist?
 I am here to say it does and whether it is trickery of the mind or a force in the universe - evil exists. Many would say that only good exists and that would be a deception, even though we are to dwell on good things both exist.
Ephesians 6- 
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

 We are reminded of these words from the bible that we more closely would resemble a warrior in truth than a sheep. Though we should dwell on good things it is important that we not especially not forget our helmet of salvation. For it is that helmet that protects the mind and helps us think more clearly. That helmet frees us from guilt and is needed to complete our attire , if you think you can win a spiritual battle without salvation , you are deceived. Check your attire , are you prepared for battle or have you been deceived into thinking life was a passive existence. Yes - it is easy to sit in idle meditation - in spiritual bliss. Even the Buddha knew of this warfare and to his credit was prepared for it came after enlightenment. If we are not enlightened or aware then we will remain as a sheep prepared for the slaughter and never become a lion. The Lord for the christian is Jesus , he is my salvation, my truth and the Word. 
 I also enjoy the wisdom from the various stones in time but Jesus is the rock of my salvation.  Here is a small poem on the Samurai:


Old Now
Till the garden , milk the cow.

forty years of labor
Yielding shield and saber.

Sitting on the mountain side
in reflection of protecting the
sacred nation.

All my life has past
and all I remember clearly is twenty minutes
of meditation.

After a lifetime of battle, we reflect back and remember life was only a vapor - short lived. All that was really important was perhaps a 20 minute period of meditation - enlightenment.


 One of the greatest stories and lessons in the bible is that of the good Samaritan. If we do not come back to this lesson regularly reminding ourselves of this example it would be a shame. The story was best explained by the great theologian Kierkegaard in his book Provocations. He explains the story of the travelers. One was a peaceful traveler who was the victim, one was a robber and another was a Levite or priest. The final traveler was the Samaritan. 
 The peaceful man was met by the robber who had beaten him unmercifully. Then the priest
came by and took pity but kept on walking. The Samaritan who was traveling the same road stopped and helped the victim, he showed mercy. 
 This is what it is to be a christian to not just take pity on the unfortunate but to show mercy. We are all travelers and perhaps on the same road. Which role we take is up to us.

- peace to you.


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