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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lessons From Ruth And From The Life Of Pi

This week I had the good fortune to see the movie, The Life Of Pi. I had read the book a few months earlier and therefore felt okay with seeing the movie. With excellent cinematography, acting and animation, the movie didn't disappoint, however, it couldn't get into the character's viewpoint the way the book does. But what struck me more when I saw the movie was the ending where Pi is relating his story to the narrator. He talks about the time he spent shipwrecked on a lifeboat with a 450-pound Bengal tiger, named Richard Parker.

After taking care of the tiger for 227 days while at sea - the main reason being that keeping the tiger alive meant keeping himself alive - the tiger departs with not as much as a backward glance when they finally make it to land. Pi becomes teary as he tells this to the narrator. He says, "After all we'd been through, I never expected him to leave me like that."

I couldn't help contrasting this story with the book of Ruth in the Bible. Ruth, a young Moabitess, accompanies Naomi her mother-in-law to Bethlehem after Ruth's husband dies. This despite the fact that Naomi begs Ruth and her other daughter-in-law, Orpah, to return to their families and try to make a life for themselves. Orpah kisses her mother-in-law and takes her advice, but Ruth decides to stick with Naomi.

Listen to what she says:  "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest , I will go ; and where thou lodgest , I will lodge : thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:" (Ruth 1 : 16) 

Ruth is no Richard Parker. She is in it for the long haul. And as we see from the book, God rewards her for her faithfulness. Are you a Ruth, or a Richard Parker? Do you abandon those who have helped you through the storms when the weather improves? Do you turn your back on them without a backward glance?

Don't be that way. Be faithful. Be consistent. Be reliable. The Bible says, "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful" (1 Corinthians 4 : 2). Faithfulness should extend beyond friendship or marriage; it should extend to God. Are you faithful to God? Do you want to hear the words, "Well done thou good and faithful servant"( Matthew 25 : 21) when you stand before God, or do you want to hear,  "Thou wicked and slothful servant"( v 26) . Begin by being faithful now in little things, in the way you treat others, and God will reward you for your faithfulness. 

Recommended reading

Pick up a copy of my book Women For All Seasons in time for Mother's Day and learn more about Ruth.  

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