I was struck by an article in The Buffalo News Sunday, November 3rd by Associated Press reporter Diaa Hadid. It was about a giant statue (105 feet tall) of Jesus that was erected on a mountain top in Syria, of all places, where Christianity is by far the minority faith. That alone caught my attention but when I read the article something else stirred me. Despite the conflicts in the area since 2011, not only was this statue allowed but “Rebels and government forces occasionally agree to cease-fires to allow the movement of goods.”
Huh, how about that.
It reminds me of a talk I heard by evangelist Joyce Meyer about being able to control your behavior when you need to. She described a situation in which she would be yelling at her kids to pick up their toys, being completely enraged, and suddenly, when her pastor arrived at her door, she was able to be calm, peaceful and cheerful. Proof that she was able to control her emotions after all.
Not long ago our daughter was in the practice of throwing tantrums when it came time to do her homework. I set up the video camera and explained that I would be filming her to show her beloved Grandmother. Well you’d never believe it: she got all of that homework done without as much as a heavy sigh. (For the record, the camera was never on.)
Kind of like those security cameras, even the fake ones.
I’m frequently asked about my position on allowances for children. Every child and every situation is different, I explain. I personally never received an allowance. I think it gave my parents a little more leverage because I couldn’t mouth off and then ask for money to go to the mall.
It’s funny how well we can control ourselves when something is at stake, be it reputation or money.
But goodness is a strong motivator, too. Remembering that we’re all flesh and blood and tragic screw ups doing the best we can with what we have is good; it connects us. I recall the story of the soldiers on both sides of the war in WWI who stopped fighting long enough to sing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve. Could you imagine?
But back to Syria. I suppose it’s hopeful that they are able to set their conflicts aside in order for them all to survive, be it through the transfer of goods or the permission of a statue.