Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Passionate About Something

In Lewis B. Smedes book "A Pretty Good Person," Smedes recounts a story of a man named Fopke.

Fopke was decidedly un-passionate. In fact, he was convinced that the entire village he lived in "despised him and thought he was a ridiculous person" because of his glum and simple existence.

He decided that by himself, he would prove after all that he was a superior person, a person to be reckoned with, a person of great power of will and courage of heart.

He purchased a cheap pistol and loaded it with a single bullet. Thinking he would look more gallant in the eyes of his fellow villagers, he also got a bottle of Dutch Scotch with plans to drink a glass and then shoot himself. With his loaded pistol before him, he proceeded to pour himself a glass and drink it, but then fell asleep.

While sleeping he dreamed that he went to a far away land where the people were kind, trusting and respectful, not only to him but also to each other. Inquiring about this “goodness”, Fopke found that the people only understood concepts of good and virtue, but had no frame of reference of bad and evil. So he told them about evil and how men acted towards one another.

The people were intrigued by these stories and soon they only talked about the good verses evil concept that Fopke introduced. Soon people began to “try” evil and unkind things like lying, stealing and hurting others. Fopke was deeply disturbed that he had introduced evil ideas to this good and kind people and tried to stop it. But it was too late.

Fopke awoke with a different perspective, a new vision. He determined that he would seek to be good in everything he did. He purposed to quietly be friendly, to do kind deeds and to share goodness everywhere he went.

Noticing the change that came over Fopke, the people of his village asked him to teach them how he became a good person. He responded by saying, “I cannot talk about it. And please do not call me good. Only God is good. I am only on the Way.”

On his grave stone standing atop a modest grave on the coast of the North Sea are inscribed these words, “Fopke fen Faken, Alles meirekkene, in ridlik geode minske." Which, translated means: All things considered, a pretty good person.

What dreams do you have that impassion your life? Please respond below.

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