Thursday, November 10, 2022


 During my first year of high school, I took Spanish as an elective. Between already speaking Romanian, a Latin-based language, and having spent a few years in a predominately Mexican neighborhood, I thought I’d have an easy time of it.

The wood shop teacher, a man named Mr. Knight, also doubled as the Spanish teacher, and on the first day of class, he gave a speech he’d either given a few times before or had rehearsed repeatedly.  

“A good handful of you are idiots,” he began. “Now, don’t be offended; if it doesn’t apply to you, just ignore that, but if it does, there isn’t much I can do for you. Some of you already know Messican, and some of you will never know Messican. Keep the noise to a minimum, learn to say ‘donde son mis Zapatos,’ and we should get along just fine.” He then sat behind his desk and started rifling through a copy of Auto Trader while using the index finger of his right hand to scavenge the contents of his nostrils. Who knows, maybe someone squirreled something in there while he was sleeping. What I do know is that though Mr. Knight might not have invented the pick-n-flick, he'd mastered it by the time I was in his class.

No, I’m not calling anyone an idiot, but there is a point to be made. If something I generalize about doesn’t apply to you, then it doesn’t apply to you. I didn’t say lactose or gluten intolerance aren’t real things; I said some people use them to seem unique or different and pretend to have them.

It happens more often than one would believe. A couple of years back, a young lady who ran in my wife’s circle must have told everyone she was going vegan at least a dozen times. It would have been easier just to get a shirt made. The first couple of times, someone would inevitably ask if it was vegetarian or vegan. If you don’t know the difference, in a nutshell, vegan is no poultry or dairy products, not just meat. So it’s a few rungs down the sadness ladder from simple vegetarian. Vegans can’t have milk, cheese, eggs, or any animal byproducts. They’re restricted to plant life and that mouth-watering tofu. Maybe tofu is shorthand for toe fungus. Think about it! You’re welcome.

Stacy was going all the way, the full monty, all gas, no breaks. “Vegan,” she’d answer when asked with a condescending smirk. “What’s the point of going vegetarian?”

Since I’d made no such declaration, a couple of months later, I walk into our local bar and grill for a burger. They have a version of the big mac but with real meat and no sesame seed on the bun that’s quite delightful.

The place doesn’t have the best lighting, so it takes a minute for one’s eyes to adjust, but as I scanned the bar, wouldn’t you know it, there’s Stacy holding a half-eaten hamburger, ready to go in for another bite.

She’d heard the door creak and turned her head just in time to see my smiling face.

“Vegan, I presume,” I said, then sat next to her.

She mumbled something I didn’t quite catch, although it likely wasn’t ‘it’s nice to see you,’ asked for her check, paid, and boogied without another word. Those are the kinds of people I was referring to.

With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, we return to our regularly scheduled program.

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

The first reason Jesus took an inordinate amount of time warning his followers of coming persecution, tribulation, hardship, and travail was to keep them from stumbling. The second was that we might have peace.

But how can we have peace when in the preceding chapter, He talked about all the things we would have to suffer? Because He overcame the world, and if He overcame the world, you too can overcome it. The same power that resided in Christ resides in you, so be of good cheer. Rejoice in your tribulation, for it is but a breath while eternity is forever.

To think of it another way, if Christ foresaw the persecution and tribulation of His own, He also foresaw their deliverance. We have peace not because we will suffer but because we will overcome.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Praise God!!!! We have victory because Jesus redeemed our spirits!!
He never promised this flesh eternal life.

No get out of suffering free card was purchased by Christ.