Orthodox Thought for the Day


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Look within

The world is full of problems.  All of us have problems in our own lives.  When faced with a problem, our initial reaction is usually to look at its outward symptoms and to relieve them.  For example, if a person feels his house it too small and the food he eats too rough, he will try to earn more money and so buy a bigger house and better food.  If one person is in conflict with another they may both become angry and each will try to defeat the other. Yet this is not Christ’s way.  According to Christ, the roots of all problems lie in the human soul and that problem can only truly be resolved by transforming the soul.  The man who is dissatisfied with his house and food will not become happy with more money; this is because one desire leads to another, he will soon want an even bigger house and even better food.  Happiness for him can only be achieved by looking inward, and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.  Equally, the person in conflict with another may look inward to learn to love his enemy; then the emotions behind the conflict will melt away and reconciliation becomes possible.  St. John Chrysostom 

For a book to help us appreciate what we already have, read “Kumak’s House, A Tale of the Far North,” by Michael Bania, a short, colorfully illustrated book for kids.  It is the story of Kumak and his “too small house,” an endearing and humorous folktale set in an Inupiat Eskimo village in the northwest Arctic that teaches a great lesson—neat for all ages!    

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