勝過「簾幕之後」的真相──OVERCOMING WHAT GOES ON ‘BEHIND THE CURTAIN’

MONDAY MANNA

多年前,我參觀了一家肉類加工廠,當我第一次看到熱狗是怎麼做的以後,持續了一年多,我才吃得下另一支熱狗。對於一些我們很熟悉的事物,當真實看到「幕後」的真相,我們的反應會是很耐人尋味的。

我曾在軍隊中服役,也積極帶領教會和基督教機構,並參加多個社區與專業組織,因此,我有「機會」親自觀察「簾幕之後」發生的一切,就像《綠野仙蹤》裡面的經典片段,當簾幕被拉開後(無論是實際上或象徵性的拉開),我們都很容易因為我們所真實看到的而變成憤世嫉俗、譏諷挖苦,或退避三舍,甚至不想與所看到的有所關聯。

這些組織有什麼共同點?在無形簾幕的背後,這些組織全都是由不完美,甚至多半有著嚴重缺陷的「人」所領導。這些人很可能讓我們感到氣餒、失望,甚至背叛我們的信任和付出,以及組織的使命。那我為什麼仍要委身呢?為什麼我還要參與這麼多不完美且充滿缺陷的組織呢?

我的答案很簡單。因為我學會看見另一個「簾幕」之後真正值得關注的。不是讓人煩心沮喪的當前種種,而是具有永恆意義的事情。

聖經中的一節經文特別談到這種永恆的觀點,讓我印象深刻:「我們有這指望,如同靈魂的錨,又堅固又牢靠,且通入幔內。作先鋒的耶穌,既……成了永遠的大祭司,就為我們進入幔內。」(希伯來書6章19-20節)這兩節經文提醒我要引頸期待那激勵人心、充滿盼望的未來,而非停留在生命和工作中不可避免的糟心事。

那你呢?是否對你所置身其中的政府、工作、社區或信仰機構的「政治操作」感到厭倦?我們要如何面對日常生活中幕後運作的弊端呢?我發現只有閱讀、默想並沈浸在神的話語當中,並將注意力集中在祂完全且完美的主權上時,才有能力面對這一切。我也因而可以順服耶穌自己在路加福音22章42節中所做的禱告:「不要成就我的意思,只要成就你的意思。」

無論處於任何景況中,都相信上帝最清楚狀況且永不出錯,我所要做的就是跟隨聖靈的引導做事。當我忘記甚或拒絕這樣做時,我很快就會陷入困境,被問題、擔憂和恐懼所淹沒。

聖經中有許多經文可以激勵我們:

看向正確的地方。「你們要思念上面的事,不要思念地上的事。」(歌羅西書3章2節)
跟隨正確的典範「不要效法這個世界,只要心意更新而變化,叫你們察驗何為 神的善良、純全、可喜悅的旨意。」(羅馬書12章2節)
追求正確的思想。「弟兄們,我還有未盡的話:凡是真實的、可敬的、公義的、清潔的、可愛的、有美名的,若有甚麼德行,若有甚麼稱讚,這些事你們都要思念。」(腓立比書4章8節)

Ken Korkow居住在美國內布拉斯加州的奧馬哈市,他擔任該地的CBMC區域總監。本篇文章改編自他的「生活傳真」專欄。經許可使用。

反省與問題討論

  1. 你曾否有機會一窺「簾幕之後」的世界,且與你表面上所看到的是不同的?請描述一下當時的狀況,以及你的反應。
  2. 有沒有人曾經目睹你自己的「簾幕」背後之真相,因而感到受傷或失望呢?如果你願意,請說明當時的情況。你那時有什麼感受?
  3. 擁有並保持永恆的眼光,不讓我們的思想及行為被當前所發生短暫的事物所支配,並造成憂慮和沮喪,這是什麼意思呢?
  4. 我們如何在消極沮喪的汪洋中,仍舊持有這種積極樂觀的態度呢?你有做哪些、或是可以做哪些事情,來持守正向的態度?請解釋你的答案。

備註:如果你手上有聖經,想要閱讀更多相關的經文,請參考:

詩篇145篇17-20節
145:17 耶和華在他一切所行的,無不公義;在他一切所做的都有慈愛。
145:18 凡求告耶和華的,就是誠心求告他的,耶和華便與他們相近。
145:19 敬畏他的,他必成就他們的心願,也必聽他們的呼求,拯救他們。
145:20 耶和華保護一切愛他的人,卻要滅絕一切的惡人。
哥林多後書5章17節
5:17 若有人在基督裏,他就是新造的人,舊事已過,都變成新的了。
羅馬書6章4節
6:4 所以,我們藉著洗禮歸入死,和他一同埋葬,原是叫我們一舉一動有新生的樣式,像基督藉著父的榮耀從死裏復活一樣。
羅馬書6章11-13節
6:11 這樣,你們向罪也當看自己是死的;向 神在基督耶穌裏,卻當看自己是活的。
6:12 所以,不要容罪在你們必死的身上作王,使你們順從身子的私慾。
6:13 也不要將你們的肢體獻給罪作不義的器具;倒要像從死裏復活的人,將自己獻給 神,並將肢體作義的器具獻給 神。
加拉太書2章20節
2:20 我已經與基督同釘十字架,現在活著的不再是我,乃是基督在我裏面活著;並且我如今在肉身活著,是因信 神的兒子而活;他是愛我,為我捨己。
以弗所書4章22-24節
4:22 就要脫去你們從前行為上的舊人,這舊人是因私慾的迷惑漸漸變壞的;
4:23 又要將你們的心志改換一新,
4:24 並且穿上新人;這新人是照著 神的形像造的,有真理的仁義和聖潔。


OVERCOMING WHAT GOES ON ‘BEHIND THE CURTAIN’

By Ken Korkow

Many years ago I toured a meat packing facility. After seeing for the first time how hotdogs were made, it was more than a year before I could eat another one. It is interesting to learn what really goes on behind the scenes with things we are very familiar with, and then see how we react.

Having served in the military, been actively involved in church and parachurch leadership, and participating in a variety of community and professional organizations, I have had the “opportunity” to observe firsthand what goes on “behind the curtain,” to borrow from the iconic scene in the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz.” Once the curtain is pulled back, literally or figuratively, it is easy to become cynical, sarcastic, or even distant, trying to disassociate ourselves with what we have seen.

What do all those organizations have in common? Behind the metaphorical curtain, they are all directed by people – imperfect, often terribly flawed people. People who can discourage, disillusion, even betray our trust and commitment to them and the organization’s mission. Why then do I remain engaged? Why do I continue to be so involved with many entities, despite their imperfections and shortcomings?

My answer is a very simple one. I have been able to see behind the one “curtain” that really counts. Not the present things that can annoy and frustrate us. But the one that matters for all of eternity.

One verse from the Bible in particular speaks to this eternal perspective and has captured my attention: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,  where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever ….”(Hebrews 6:19-20). This reminds me to keep looking ahead to an exciting, promised future rather than dwelling on the negatives we inevitably encounter over the course of everyday life and work.

What about you? Are you tired of “politics,” whether it is in government, where you work, or in community or faith-based organizations you are a part of? How do we keep from getting caught up in the downsides of the behind-the-curtain behaviors and actions we see every day? I have found this happens only when I read, meditate on and marinate in the Word of God, and keep my focus on His complete and perfect sovereign control. Then I can surrender to “not my will, but Yours be done,” as Jesus Himself prayed in Luke 22:42. 

Trusting that God knows best and will always do what is right, regardless of the circumstances I find myself in, my job simply becomes one of doing the next-one-thing that His Spirit prompts. When I forget, or refuse to do that, that is when I end up in the ditch very quickly. Overwhelmed by problems, concerns and fear.

We find many passages in the Scriptures to encourage us to do this. Here are a few of them:

Look in the right direction. “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).
Choose the right model to follow. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
 Pursue right thinking. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

Ken Korkow lives in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., where he serves as an area director for CBMC. This is adapted from his “Fax of Life” column. Used with permission.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever had an opportunity to take a look “behind the curtain,” and did not like what you saw? Describe what that was like – and how you reacted.
  2.  Can you think of a time when someone might have gotten a glimpse behind your own “curtain” and was hurt or disappointed? If you care to, explain what that situation was. How did you feel at that moment?
  3.  What does it mean to have and maintain an eternal perspective, rather than having our thoughts and actions governed by worries and frustrations about things in the present that are only temporary?
  4. How can a person keep such a positive, optimistic attitude – especially if we find ourselves immersed in a sea of negativity and discouragement? Are there any specific things you do – or could do – to keep such a focus? Explain your answer.

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:

Psalm 145:17-20; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:4,11-13; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:22-24


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