Native American Honesty
An American Indian, visiting his white neighbors, asked for a little tobacco, and one of them, having some loose tobacco in his pocket, gave him a handful. On the next day, the Native American came back, saying he had found a quarter of a dollar among the tobacco. After being told that he could keep the quarter, he replied, pointing to his breast: “I got a good man and a bad man here; and the good man say, ‘It is not mine, I must return it to the owner;’ the bad man say, ‘Why, he gave it to you, and it is your own now.’ The good man say, ‘That not right, the tobacco is yours, not the money;’ but the bad man say, ‘Never mind, you got it, go buy some drink. The good man say, ‘No, no, you must not do so;’ so I don’t know what to do, and I think to go to sleep; but the good man and the bad keep talking all night, and trouble me; and now I bring the money back, I feel good.” (from Practical Bible Illustrations)
I expect sleeplessness strikes all of us at some time. It’s not a pleasant thing to climb into bed, tired from the labors of our day, only to lay there tossing and turning while our mind is going full speed. (Perhaps having that “good man, bad man conversation) Mine at times seems to be as if I’m in a fast moving vehicle looking out as the scenery becomes a blur. Where is that off button when you need it? If only it were that simple.
I know I can’t change all things that weigh on my mind. I do know I can pray about them, regretfully, too often in “my” thinking I don’t pray about them as I should. I feel helpless, I feel that “I” can’t fix this or that, which will be completely true; and it is usually at that point that I realize my faith is weak and I am treating God as small and remind myself that nothing is impossible with or for God. I have been guilty of this more than I care to admit. I also remember Jesus told his disciples they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1-2
In pondering all of this I came across some great quotes that express my thoughts far better than I can.
- When you have accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace; God is awake. ~quote
- I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day. Abraham Lincoln
- In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without heart. John Bunyan
- In prayer, we are aware that God is in action and that when the circumstances are ready, when others are in the right place, and when our hearts are prepared, he will call us into the action. Waiting in prayer is a disciplined refusal to act before God acts. Eugene Peterson