More on Paradoxes and Contradictions

As I grow older, I am becoming more and more aware of the paradoxes and the many contradictions in life. These used to unsettle me during my younger years but now I realize true wisdom comes from being able to live with these. Those who wish to be first must be last. Those who wish to be exulted shall be humbled. Those who who wish to lead must serve. And to gain the fulness of life, one must die.

Daily life is also full of paradoxes and contradictions which we have to live with. People need oxygen to sustain life as we know it. And yet, we keep on destroying our forests and cutting down the trees that give us the oxygen we breathe. How long before we realize and change our self-destructive behavior?

More than half of the world’s protein needs come from the sea. And yet we have made the oceans our garbage dumps. There is a giant garbage patch in the the middle of the Pacific Ocean that is bigger than the entire United States. Fish of all sorts are regularly washed ashore dead from suffocating on some pieces of plastic we have disposed of in the oceans. How long before we kill all life in the waters and realize we are causing our own demise?

We know and proclaim that life is precious, that one human life is worth exerting all efforts to save. And yet, innocent children are killed just because they belong to a different religion. Children are sold into slavery like another commodity with a price tag. And in the affluent countries, children are routinely aborted just because they are not wanted. How long before we truly learn that life is precious we do not have the right to snuff it out for whatever reason?

And yet out of all these paradoxes and contradictions, the Lord ever moves us forward in love and into the light of His kindness.

Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness.
~ Psalm 79

When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:32-45

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