Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How Do You Get Out of the System of Outputs?

Cartoons by Ron Leishman
Just because you have output doesn't necessarily mean you have success. Even malfunctioning devices have outputs. Neither is productivity always a sign that everything is running smoothly. I often see school textbooks printed by the bulk and selling well, yet containing a lot of errors. A lot of them are useless.

Numbers often do not mean anything except that there are few or many of a certain item. Big size or number doesn't always mean superiority. And yet so many things are judged by size and number. So much of life are still ruled by them. People see you by your outputs, not your running condition.

We're so much like machines---in fact, so many people I've met treat people like machines, automated machines, to be exact. They expect you to keep producing for them, and automatically at that (and I'm not just referring to the workplace but to everyday life). How you feel is definitely out of the question. What matters is that you work and produce for their pleasure.

So, let's take it from that perspective.

I've seen a lot of people use up their entire lives in pursuit of outputs---like they're really machines. Whoever brain-washed them did it so well. They seem to have forgotten that they have human flesh and souls and really see themselves as tough, cold, steely machines. They see life as one big production department.

All their lives they plunged themselves in work, to producing things, to accomplishing a lot of endeavors. And often, they do this "for God." God cursed man with that---to work a lot "by the sweat of your brow" and keep working "through painful toil...all the days of your life."

In the end, they all find themselves in terrible pain while wasting away in their death beds, suffering severe ailment after a lifetime of abusing their bodies, working beyond the limits set by God on a human body.

What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. [Ecclesiastes 2.22-23]
God designed the body and mind to enjoy good rests each day. Originally, he did not design the body for work but for aiding the mind and soul to commune with God. That alone. He did not create man and give him a body to produce outputs. Every "output" needed had already been provided by God in Eden. God was not interested in outputs that man could accomplish. God just wanted man to be with him---in close communion.

We have to go back to that plan.

We have to stop viewing life as a time solely for producing outputs. Ecclesiastes already hinted that in life, there's a time for everything, not just outputs and accomplishments. We have to stop seeing life as one long production lead time and people as machines. This twisted view of life also produces wrong character, attitudes and perspectives. It explains why difficult people are around.

We have to begin seeing humans as spirits inside human flesh that gets tired and with minds that despair and get anxious. These are all built-in so we'd seek God. God designed it like that---put human spirit in physically feeble flesh so that we'd get tired and seek rest.

In fact, rest is when we finally become really productive. When we learn to rest correctly, we start to enjoy everything and see the value of even the smallest, tiniest thing in life---even the slightest, irrelevant efforts that don't seem to produce outputs.

Most of all, we learn to value and respect each life, regardless of output. This is an essential part of building God's true Kingdom on earth in Christ.

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. [Ecclesiastes 3.12-14]
Is there a way out of all this? How do you get out of the system?

God started recreating everything about two thousand years ago when Christ died on the cross. Now, all of us who are tired and heavy laden are invited to rest in Christ. All we have to do is repent from sins and all "dead works" and surrender our whole lives to Jesus Christ. That's resting in God.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death (or dead works), so that we may serve the living God! [Hebrews 9.14]
Look at the benefits of resting in God:

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. [Ecclesiastes 2.26]
But Many Go Back to the System of Outputs

The sad thing is, many who have availed of Christ's invitation to rest didn't get the whole picture and went right back to the system of outputs. They proceeded to find something to do and accomplish for God---and the harder it was to do, the better. Peter went right back to catching fish when he saw no "output" from Jesus' death on the cross.

We are given a "lighter load" to carry, says Christ, and that load shouldn't take us back to the curse in Eden. We shouldn't be found suffering pain and sorrow in the end in our deathbeds due to the abuse we did to out bodies while pursuing earthly toils and outputs.

Remember, Jesus didn't end up in a hospital bed. Even Moses grew old strong and healthy while pursuing God's will. And come to think of it---Moses had a lot of great accomplishments in his life but was forfeited the reward of seeing the Promise Land just because he disobeyed God in one little thing---he struck the rock twice instead of talking to it.

Believe me, to God there's more meaningful output just talking to a rock than all the accomplishments you could think of in this world.

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