by Mary Ellen Kocunik.
One day I suddenly realized that I am a gambler. But I gamble in a different way than with dice, horses, or cards. Instead I have gambled with my life.
I have put my whole life down on the bet that the God who is Trinity is the creator of the universe and the God of all we know as life.
In the quiet halls of a monastery, in the breathtaking depths of a mountain canyon, in the peaceful rhythm of rural life, in the tangible security of a loving family, in the gospel presence of at least two or three committed Christians, this may not seem like much of a wager.
But in the world of escalating computer and medical technology, in the busyness of mass media communications, in the power of mankind’s increasing knowledge, in the increasing ways in which we can sometimes seem to be able to assuage pain on every level—through medicine, psychotherapy, and wholesome lifestyles—the odds against my wager can seem ridiculously high. We now have and can do so much.
Why would anyone choose to rely on the mercy of God rather than on perfecting his or her own psyche, intellect, and body? Why would anyone wait for God’s whisperings in the heart when logic and technology give the obvious answers to questions about life’s struggles and directions according to the human point of view?
How can it be right to learn from pain, to accept or even offer pain for another person when you can take care of yourself first—so that you can then be better able to take care of another, of course?
Why would anyone throw away a career that helps people—medicine, technology, teaching, etc.—to do manual labor, to spend a life in prayer, to be obedient to the direction of another?
Only a gambler. Only one who is loved by Love Himself. Only one who believes that the Triune God—Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit—is creator of this world and that all mankind’s creations are ultimately subject to the Creator, the Creator who created each of us as individuals and who loves each of us as such.
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