This world we live in is filled with negativity. This statement does not sound necessarily profound but it definitely has to be acknowledged as something which exists around us. Negativity is the matter of our own choice. This means that it does not matter how negative people around us are, I have to make a conscious choice to consent and be negative. When this choice is made, we go directly against the Gospel of Jesus Christ which teaches us to be joyful and to be positive because this world, no matter how negative it is, still is in God’s hands, and the ultimate destiny of this world rests with good and positive and not with negativity.
Unfortunately, in order for us to be taken out of the claws of negativity, sometimes it is necessary that we are stricken by a disease or a major hit in life so that we can wake up and be what we are supposed to be. Why does God do this? Because negativity is the ultimate expression of us being burdened by our egos. Whenever my ego is dominating, I cannot see anything else but negativity. When I give up on my ego, then God emerges and gives light to my eyes so that in everything around me I can see God and his goodness.
Nikolai Velimirovich once upon a time, visited a man who was in his wheelchair. He was a war veteran and was hit by a bullet in the spine on his last day in the military. B. Nikolai was very afraid that he might encounter someone who is very dark and negative. However, the reality was quite the opposite! Although this man who could not move was sitting in his wheelchair, he was extremely joyous and insightful. He confessed to St. Nikolai that while he had his legs he never paid attention to how wondrous nature around him is. He never heard birds singing and never felt the scent of flowers. He was all negative, bitter without anything Gospel-like on the inside. He confessed that he never noticed God and now that he had lost his legs, he sees God and good everywhere.
This man, dear brothers and sisters, paid with his legs to have his eyes opened and to see goodness in God’s creation in people and everything around him. Unfortunately for us, not everyone gets the opportunity to loose his legs to became positive or faithful to God or little less annoying to his community. This happens because God sends his prophets (layman, priests, and even little kids) to parishes who remind us all that not everything is lost and that in spite of our sinfulness all of us have the traces of our loving God, our father, in our souls. Being attentive to the voices of those prophets is the first step for us to change from being toxic and negative into individuals who are radiating goodness and peace for their communities. Individuals who fly to see good and rejoice upon seeing it rather than those who always see bad.
Elder Paisios said to a man that there are two types of individuals in this world: a bee and a fly. Bees go from flower to flower, collecting the sweet nectar, the good things in life. On the other hand, flies are attracted to the garbage and the dead things. It is our conscious choice whether we will be a bee or a fly. It is our choice if we will see goodness in people around us, our parish, our priest or if we will zero in on what is wrong about everyone around us.
Be positive, be happy and see God everywhere!
BE THE BEE!
I really need reminders like this one.
God bless you!
Fr Stefan, thank you for your inspiring and positive sermons. This weeks sermon brings to mind a old book by Dr. Joseph Broadman, entitled, ‘Bee Venom.’ There are more recent books on the Bee/venom. Elder Piasios comments ring so true to this day.
Amen Mary! May God help us all through the prayers of St. Paisios!
Thank you Fr. Stefan.
Father Stefan , I really try to be the Bee but sometimes it’s hard when I am around friends they are so negative. My friends say it easier said and done but , I shared this blog with them and I hope they understand why it is so important to be a Bee! Thank you.