Once there was a general who was infamous for his viciousness. He was brutal, without mercy. He went to attack a very small village that lay in the path of his army. Everyone in the village, knowing of the general’s reputation, ran away – everyone except one man When the general entered the village, he found this one man sitting calmly under a tree. So the general went to the man and said, “Do you know who I am, and do you know what I am capable of? I can run my sword right through you without batting an eye!” And the man said, “I know.” Looking at the general, he continued, “But do you know who I am and what I am capable of? I’ll let you do it … without batting an eye.”
Source | Paul Coutinho SJ, How Big is Your God
Loyola Press (November 1, 2010) page 31
PONDER AND CONSIDER
This is the difference between practicing religion and developing a living relationship with the Divine. How do we respond when we are attacked? If our response is still an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth we’re not much better than the general.
But if our response is one of peace and reconciliation, then we offer a better alternative, and that response can be disarming and a catalyst for change.
How? If you want to change start by changing a thought, just one thought: everything begins with a thought. Change your thinking and you will be a changed person. The thought will be expressed in your words, will affect your feelings, and will guide your behaviour. And the words, feelings, and behaviours you send out into the world will affect and slowly transform the world around you.
- Can you change just one thought?
- Can you know who you are in your mind, in your consciousness, enough to think peace, act in peace, be peace … without batting an eye?