Inside-Out


Have you ever heard about this book: “The 7 habits of Highly Effective People”? It’s a book written by STEPHEN R. COVEY.

To summarize: “Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity, principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.”

I would like to share some of his interesting thoughts that, I hope, will speak to you too!

“Each of us has many maps in our head, which can be divided into two main categories: maps of the way things are, or realities, and maps of the way things should be, or values. We interpret everything through these mental maps. We seldom question their accuracy; we’re usually even unaware that we have them. We simply assume that the way we see things is the way they really are or the way they should be.” (Page 24)

“I remember a mini paradigm shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly, some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene.

 Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people’s papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing.

It was difficult not to feel irritated. (….) It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated too. (…) I turned to him and said, Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more?

The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly: Oh you’re right. (…) we just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don’t know what to think, and I guess they don’t know what to handle it either.

Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly, I saw things differently, and because I saw things differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn’t have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man’s pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely.  (…) Everything changed in an instant!

(…) We could spend weeks, months, even years laboring with the Personality Ethic trying to change our attitudes and behaviors and not even begin to approach the phenomenon of change that occurs spontaneously when we see things differently.”

Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Page 30-31

Dare To Desire.


The man was lying curled up in the sun, like a pile of rags thrown there by accident. The man barely looked like a human, but those who crossed the door to get in and out of Jerusalem recognized him. As far as they can remember, this place was his. He was crippled, dropped off there every morning by a member of his family, and picked at the end of the day.

Since years, the pool of Bethesda was a real human museum: the lame, the blind, the deaf, the lepers, and so on, met there, as rumour claimed that an angel would sometimes stir the waters (nobody knew exactly when) and the first patient to get in was cured. A sort of lottery. And like all lotteries, desperate hope for a miracle. So in theory, the man was not alone.

But as no one had really spoken to him, long ago, he first thought the question was for someone else. Squinting into the sun, he did not recognize the face leaning over him. The cripple then asked him to repeat his question, perhaps he had misunderstood. If the voice was soft, the question seemed harsh, even cruel, “do you want to be healthy?” (John 5:1-9)

“What kind of question is that? What other purpose could I have spending every day of the last thirty-eight years lying here? He mocks me.” The man was accustomed to ridicule and suffered a lot of harassment. However, his vision was adjusted to the light, he could identified his interlocutor, and his eyes too. There was no trace of mockery in him. Obviously, this man takes his question seriously and expects an answer: “What do you want?”. Who would dare ask such a shocking question? JESUS! Obviously this man wanted to be healed. Not need to be God.

Really? Like most questions asked by Jesus, this one had a greater purpose than it seemed. Of course, Jesus knew the answer, but what about the man did he know It? All his life had been shaped by suffering. Every day, he had wanted only one thing. No question of wealth. No question of celebrity. NO,  this man’s life was summed up in a simple but inaccessible DESIRE: WALK!  So he was at this place for thirty-eight years, hoping to hit the jackpot.

Since when did he start to get discouraged? How long can we maintain our desire when disappointment is perpetual? Some resist longer than others, but ultimately, we all reach a state of resignation, cynicism or bitterness. Over the years, this man, as some of us, lost all vital link with the desire of his heart. He had given up his desire.

Asking him what he wanted, Jesus  brought him into the secret of his own heart, to his deepest desire. Why? Because the desire must be our destination if we want to meet God.

It may be surprising, but Christianity is not an invitation to morality, or a program to conform to our society or to reform it. Christianity, essentially, begins with an invitation to desire. It has a powerful effect on our lives, but this transformation always start in your HEART!

“WHAT DO YOU WANT?”

“The Eyes Of The Heart”


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Do You Want To See?

“I am concerned with a certain way of looking at life, which was created in me by the fairy tales, but has since been ratified by the mere facts”. G.K. CHESTERTON

Lately, I have been really enjoying a book written by JOHN ELDREDGE: “Waking the Dead”. Every time I open this book, It is like I am part of the crowd in a movie and, the more I am drawn into the story with an open mind, the more the message seems to reveal a startling truth, it brings out a brutal clarity about things I thought were just a fable. This is an incredible book I recommend you, whatever you believe or not, just read it with an open mind.

I warm you, this book can cause your heart to be awake and be alive again and you might discover the clarity you need about your life and its meaning; except if you are afraid of challenge or to lose the control on your own life like Neo in “Matrix”. But Neo chose to take the red pill…

“Two men are seated across from each other in a dark room. Outside, a thunderstorm rages in the night, shaking the old house to its foundations. Flashes of lightning are dimmed by heavy curtains, which been drawn because it is a secret meeting. This is the first time these men have ever met, thought they have been searching for each other most of their life. Not a moment too soon, their destinies have crossed. One of them, a tall black man dressed all in black, carries the aura of a spiritual master. The younger man, trying his best to conceal the fact that he is frightened and uncertain, might become his disciple. It is all depends on a decision.

Morpheus: I imagine that right now you’re feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole?

Neo: You could say that.

Morpheus: I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he’s expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?

Neo: No

Morpheus: Why?

Neo: Because I don’t like the idea that I’m not in control of my life.

Morpheus: I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain. You feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. There’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is. But it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Neo: The Matrix?

Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is?

(Hesitantly, Neo nods his assent.)

Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now in this room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage, into a prison that you cannot taste or smell or touch. A prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You must see it for yourself.

(In each of his open palms, held forth as an offering, the older man is holding two capsules, one red, the other blue. He is offering the younger man a chance at the truth.)

Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and you believe… whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Neo takes the red pill; Lucy steps through the wardrobe (The Chronicle of Narnia); Aladdin rubs the lamp; Elisha prays that the eyes of his servant would be opened (2 Kings 6:16-17); Peter, James and John follow Jesus up to mount of Transfiguration ( Luke 9:28-36). And all of them discover that there is far more going on here than meets the eye. The film The Matrix is a parable, a metaphor and thought a dark story, it is far closer to reality and to your life than you probably have been led to believe. (I am referring only to the first film in the trilogy.)

And the question Morpheus asks of Neo is a question the Scriptures ask each of us: Do YOU WANT to SEE?

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.” The Apostle PAUL (EPH. 1:18)

From the Book "WAKING the DEAD" written by JOHN ELDREDGE (Chapter two "The Eyes Of The Heart" page 19-21) 
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