As people of "good news" we are called to tell the story; to share what we have heard. I am part of the Fellowship of St. John the Evangelist and I get their posts on Facebook. Their last post was a response from the Bishop of Vermont, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely, who was responding to a post by Brother Geoffrey Tristram on Prayer. Are you still with me? Geoffrey shared a story that Tom repeated and now I want to share it with you. Here is an excerpt from the blog,"Green Mountain Bishop." (The full post can be found here.)
In his sermon, Brother Geoffrey recalled a favorite story about the Russian rabbi Zusia to illustrate his point. I repeat it here because it stirred my heart and my imagination. ”One day some students were talking with him and the first said, “Rabbi Zusia, I am afraid that when I appear before the Holy One he will ask me, ’Why did you not have the faith of Abraham?’ A second student said, ‘I am afraid that when I am before the Holy One he will ask me, ‘Why did you not have the patience of Job?’ Then a third student said, ‘Rabbi I am afraid that when I stand before the Holy One he will ask me, ‘Why did you not have the courage of Moses?’ Then they all asked Rabbi Zusia, ‘Rabbi, when you appear before the Holy One which question do you most fear?’ Rabbi Zusia answered, ‘When I appear before the Holy One I ‘m afraid he’ll ask me, ‘Zusia, why were you not Zusia?’”I've heard the story before, from someone else, at another time in my life when it also "stirred my heart and my imagination." But it's a great story, and a particularly great story for this holy day. So I pass it on and ask you my readers: how is God calling you to live more faithfully into being YOU in these next forty days? Not somebody else, but the unique person you were created from dust to be?