The Car or the Driver?
Let’s say one day you get the honor of getting behind the wheel of the same Ferrari that Michael Schumacher won one of his Formula One Championships with. And just for kicks, you time yourself to see how well you do against the former champ.
Now, if you had already driven a Ferrari before and were familiar with the track, then you would probably do okay. Otherwise, you’ll be lucky to come out with your eyebrows intact.
Now would you do any better if you had driven a Renault instead?
If not, how is Schumacher able to just whiz through those tracks like he’s just shaving off his mustache?
Well, that’s because he’s practiced it to the point of being able to see formula one cars buzzing around in his head while sleeping. And he plays by the rules that all sane Race Car drivers abide by. So, for him, it doesn’t make that much of a difference whether he gets behind the wheel of a Renault, a Ferrari, a Mercedes or any other Formula One Car as long as it has a functional engine, tires, and a Coffee cup holder.
Then occasionally someone comes along who own a Ferrari but doesn’t even know where the steering wheel is, deciding to take their car for a spin right in the middle of the busiest part of town. And even though we see this as completely insane, that’s precisely what most people are doing these days with “religion”.
Most people who claim to be “religious” (regardless of the Brand), rarely live by their religious principles or spiritual virtues. And when they do, they’ll always compromise and behave in a completely contradictory manner whenever they’re put in front of an unfavorable situation. And then they wonder why they’re still where they were 10 years ago.
It’s almost like they hang out with God when things are bright and sunny, but have the Devil on Speed-dial for those less than perky days.
And then they convince themselves, that as long as they honor and uphold some of their “vitally important” religious traditions, their Creator will take care of them in this life and beyond.
I used to hang out with folks like that years ago. They attend their religious institutions every week and even say their prayers every day. But the way they live their lives contradict the very words they chant every day. For them, it’s almost become a ritualistic lullaby to keep God off their case.
And all the while I keep asking myself “Who are they trying to fool? Do they think that God only shows up when he gets an Invitation Card and a Cheesecake?”
God sees us for who we are as “human beings”, every single minute of every single day. He judges us based on our character, virtues, and faith, but mainly for how we treat ALL his Children, regardless of their race, religion, color, accent, hairdo, fashion sense, preferred football team etc.
If you wanna be recognized by the Medical Board in your State or County and by numerous other Health and Medical Institutions around the World, you would first need to spend a good number of years in a well-recognized Medical College and pass all your exams and clinical skill assessments with less than appalling marks. And in the unlikely event that you don’t, you’ll either be rewarded with a “wannabe graduate status” or have the pleasure of redoing what you had fallen short on.
Likewise, if you wanna graduate into God’s VIP list and get privileged access to his Supernatural Club of Awesomeness, you’ll first need to prove to him that you’re committed to taking the high road, time and time again, despite the temptations, the unfairness, the bruises, the fumbles, the tumbles, and the ridicule. And that you’ll consistently live a life of service, gratitude, generosity, compassion, and faith.
If you do that, God will place you ahead of all the hypocrites; who have draped themselves with religious branded socks, bracelets, shirts and shorts; and shower you with protection, blessings, and supernatural favor in a way that you cannot even fathom.
PS: In order to pass the “generosity” module in God’s exam, donate 10% of your net income every single month, to a charity or a cause that helps people who cannot help themselves.