Is Life A Guessing Game?
by Janet Stobie
Last week, I answered the phone to a caller who didn’t identify himself. About two sentences into the conversation he asked, “Do you know who this is?” Although his voice sounded familiar, I didn’t know. A wise answer would have been, “No.” Instead, I guessed and got it wrong. Embarrassing.
A minister meets a huge number of people in the course of their lifetime. Recognition is not always easy. I want to get it right but I often fail. When I’m asked, “Do you know who this is?” I feel like saying, “Don’t do that to me. I’m going to fail this test. Life is not a guessing game.”
Life is not a guessing game. Every day we make a myriad of decisions, sometimes wise and sometimes foolish. We need guidelines so that we can recognize the paths to healthy living and caring for others. Our faith can give us those guidelines. As Christians we follow the “Way” of Jesus. He offered us two supreme commandments that gather up all our rules for life. “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” I believe Judaism, and Islam and many other faiths have some form of these same two rules that help us make choices in our lives.
We don’t have to guess whether or not choosing to share of our abundance is a good thing. These two commandments tell us, yes, we are called to share as we love our neighbour. We don’t have to guess whether or not getting adequate sleep is a good thing. These two commandments tell us as God’s creation we need to love ourselves enough to take care of ourselves. That’s the only way we will be able to love others well. We don’t have to guess whether or not prayer and worship are good things. Loving God means taking time for God. Decisions become easier because we have guidelines that help us recognize the path to follow. Life does not have to be a guessing game. I am grateful.
Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 35-40)