Today I am reminded of a story once shared with me by my favourite author ‘Paulo Coelho’. The excerpt goes something like this:
“A pious man found himself suddenly deprived of all of his wealth. Knowing that God would help him no matter what, he began to pray: “Lord, please let me win the lottery,” he asked. He prayed for years and years, but was still poor. One day he died, and -since he was a very pious man, he went straight to heaven. When he arrived there, he refused to enter. He said that he had lived his entire life according to his religious teachings, and that God had never allowed him to win the lottery. “Everything You promised me was a lie,” the man said, disgusted. “I was always ready to help you win,” the Lord responded. “But, no matter how much I wanted to do so, you never bought a lottery ticket.””
Now if you are someone who has always trusted in God to ‘make the path straight for you’, I can understand that this story may not sit well. After all, trust and faith is such an important component in religion right?
Yes it is. Definitely have faith. But there is a difference between faith and fear. Acting on faith to me means that you have tried all you can, given a situation 110%, and then surrendering the outcome to a higher power. Acting on fear means that you want that higher power to do everything for you, while only giving 10% of what you have. Fear limits us, it makes us lazy and complacent rather than striving for what we want. Faith empowers us.
I believe that we are sent to this world to live. Try the best we can and leave the rest up to our higher power. That’s living for me. Imagine going to heaven and being told: I gave you the opportunity, but you didn’t even try.
I’ve been guilty of not trying too, and being complacent in my actions. Which is why I am making a pledge to change NOW. Take a little more risk, experience all life’s offerings, and accept failures. It’s not easy, but I’m going to try.
I hope that you try along with me 🙂
PS: Take a minute to think about how does the story of the pious man relate to you currently?