Que Sera Sera
Hong was a poor farmer in ancient China during the times of the Warring Kingdom. During the plowing season, he would work in the field, pulling his old wooden plough by himself. One day, a horse wandered into his field. The neighbours exclaimed, “How lucky you are, Hong! The heavens smiled on you by giving you a horse”. Hong merely grunted and went on with his work, saying “What will be, will be”
The Lord has blesses us with many things. Some are intangible like love and peace. Others are tangible like wealth, health and safety. Sometimes He likes to surprise us with unexpected blessings. As His children, we must learn to be grateful for what He has given us. He has already given us the greatest gift of all, the gift of eternal life with Him. And He has given us the Holy Spirit who is sealed with us until the time of His coming again. And He has ordered his angels to care for us. So let our gratitude overflow in prayers to thanksgiving and praises as we continue to worship Him as our God. One of our greatest weaknesses is to take the gifts for granted and then concentrate on the gift more than the Giver. And it is very easy to do that. One of our greatest temptations is money. When the Lord blesses us with abundance and our bank accounts increase, we are grateful. But after a while, we begin to think that we have a right to that money because we worked hard for it. And not only do we want to exercise on the right to use that money as we please, we also want more of it. So we work and schemed for more. Soon increasing our wealth becomes the focus of our lives. We have less and less time for the Giver and instead concentrate more on the gift. Jesus warned us of the danger of serving Money.
One day while riding the horse, Hong’s son fell off the horse and broke his leg in two places. The neighbours exclaimed, “How unlucky you are, Hong! The heavens must be punishing you by giving you this horse”. Hong merely grunted and went on with his work, saying “What will be, will be”
And how do we react when times are bad and we are poor again? Wealth, health and power are sure fragile and elusive things. It can be taken away from us suddenly and often without warning. All our hard work can vanish in the smoke or a tsunami or a hurricane. Or we may be dismissed from our job. One moment we have prestige and power. Next moment we are nobodies. And suddenly all your ‘friends’ have disappeared. Will we still be grateful to the Lord? Or have our gratefulness vanished with our money and we become angry and resentful to the Lord. Do we still continue to pray with thanksgiving and praise or do we begin to doubt the goodness of the Lord? In bad times, do we draw closer to the Lord or do we draw further away?
Then the soldiers came, looking for new recruits for the army. All the young men in the village were taken except Hong’s son who had a broken leg. The neighbours exclaimed, “How lucky you are, Hong! The heavens smiled on you making your son fall off the horse”. Hong merely grunted and went on with his work, saying “What will be, will be”
The teachings of the Teacher in Ecclesiastes can be summarised as ‘under the sun life is difficult and then you die’. We do not know what will happen in our lives and we have no control over what will happen in our lives so we just have to bear it. But on careful reading of Ecclesiastes, there is second teacher present (Ecc.1:1-11;12:8-14) who is actually using this teaching of the Teacher to teach his son. The second teacher taught that ‘yes, under the sun life is difficult but what is important is that we must remember God and obey Him’. In good times and in bad times, God is still the Giver. And as Hong’s story shows, we just do not have the eternal perspective to see how each incident in or lives fit into one another. But we do know our God. He loves us and even now is working out His plan for us for redemption and salvation. So let us concentrate on the Giver rather than the gifts and live our lives one moment at a time. Rumi, a Sufi master wrote a poem entitled The Guest House:
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival
a joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all
even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture.
Still, treat each guest honourably,
he may be cleaning you out for some delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
What will be, will be. It will be.That’s not fatalism but living under the Sovereignty of God.
Soli Deo Gloria