What would be "better" than what you have?
To understand the nature of what Peter chose to do, we just need to know two things: (a) Peter believed there would be some practical effect for simply saying that he knew Jesus and (b) Peter believed that practical effect was something he did not want to experience.take a guess
I have lived a quiet life in Utah for what will soon be a year. I have studied, I have developed software, I have written screenplays, I have drawn, I have eaten a lot of food and I have had a lot of tea. I have meditated, I have cried, I have thought about the nature of my meditation and tears. I have had a quiet life.
And, it's as though my perceptions of the environment tell me that I am near the time that I should choose a new place to have a quiet life. I don't enjoy those perceptions. My thoughts? "What's the reason that I should do that? I like Utah. I don't want to invest the effort of choosing a new state, a new city. That's annoying." And, I suppose, that's true. Choosing a new state, a new city would be an investment of effort. But, would I continue to perceive the effort and investment as "annoying" if the new state and new city would be better?
I have had many experiences during my life that included my resisting what I perceived as an annoying effort and investment to change a particular circumstance or environment, but once the decision and change was implemented, the new circumstance or environment was so much better than what I was so eager to maintain. An example? Oh, there's lot's of examples. I am certain that you have had similar experiences.
I am interested in having the best life circumstances. However, I am very resourceful and I have the ability to utilize what I have although what I have could be very modest. Thus, it is not likely that I would unnecessarily make a quiet life an "exciting life" by continuously looking to "trade up" to something "better".
With that being said, I believe it is important to say that this Winter is much colder than I believed it would be. I have made a decision that I would prefer to live the rest of my life in a climate of mild, enjoyable weather. As much as I have loved Utah, it is not likely that I would choose to live the rest of my life here. I say this or write this as I gaze at the gorgeous mountain view from my window, its blue sky and snow covered trees and meadows. Beautiful.
Would you know something "better" than what you have when presented with the choice?
I have been thinking about the life of Jesus. Jesus' life is a thought in my mind much of the time, actually. I have been thinking about Jesus' way of responding to people who said they wanted to "join" his ministry. During one such conversation, Jesus advised the young man that he need only follow them as they were just preparing to travel, to which the young man said that he would like to say "goodbye" to his family. Jesus' response? "We don't have time for that." During another such conversation, Jesus advised the young man to give his wealth and join his ministry. The young man cried, because as much as he believed he would like to join the ministry, he chose to keep his wealth.
During my quiet life in Utah, I believe I have achieved a realization that the circumstances of my life are very much related to whom I have chosen to love. And, when I say "love", I am speaking of "love" as a verb. My choice to love this person is expressed as my choice to live a truthful life. What is the practical effect of living a truthful life? Well, I don't know.
On the eve of Jesus' betrayal, Jesus said to Peter, "You will deny me three times," to which Peter responded with indignation. "I'd never do that! I love you!" I would be interested to know if Jesus smiled as he reiterated his words to Peter. Of course, as Jesus said that he would, Peter denied knowing Jesus. At the time Peter was presented with the choice to acknowledge his relationship with Jesus, what did he believe would be the "practical effect" of simply saying that he knew Jesus? There are many hypotheses that we could meditate, but that's not necessary to understand the nature of what Peter chose to do. To understand the nature of what Peter chose to do, we just need to know two things: (a) Peter believed there would be some practical effect for simply saying that he knew Jesus and (b) Peter believed that practical effect was something he did not want to experience.
Peter traveled with Jesus during his ministry for a significant amount of time. Peter was blessed with the opportunity to see Jesus perform miracles, heal the sick, raise the dead, feed thousands of people, calm storms and a great many other events for which Jesus had become famous and for which Peter had enjoyed many experiences that were available simply because Peter traveled with Jesus.
What practical effect of simply saying that he knew Jesus would Peter perceive as so negative that he would deny knowing a man who had healed the sick and raised the dead?
What is the practical effect I have experienced because I have chosen to love the person that I love? What is the practical effect you have experienced because you've chosen to love the person you love? Would you change that? Would you "trade up" to something you believe is "better"?
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