One Brick at a
Moss Hill customers
would frequently ask me what they should and/or should not be
eating. Having studied and practiced natural hygiene for several
years at the time I could have offered many suggestions. My answer
invariably was that though I could provide them direction on the
matter I would not.
I was not about to
set myself up as an authority on a subject that should be second
nature to us all. Rather than offer instruction about diet, I
sought to encourage the customer to obey their own nature.
customer seeking guidance on matters of diet, health, and lifestyle
had already become convinced that they were not doing right in their
lives at the moment. The very fact that they sought instruction is
evidence that their conscience was convicting them of wrong doing.
successfully builds their life on the foundation of another. In
order to be true one must build their own foundation. If your
conscience tells you to modify behavior in any area of life you must
make those changes yourself. Rather than tell someone what they
should or should not do, I would tell people to make whatever
changes they already know to do.
Be it eating more
fresh fruits and vegetables, to stop smoking, to stop using drugs,
to drink less alcohol, or whatever, each of us already knows what we
are doing in behavior that violates what we know to be right.
Adding more rules
and regulations to an already perfectly right conscience does not
serve you well. First thing is to do what you already know is
right. Once you master that lesson you will surely be given the
Were I to instruct
you, then I would become the voice of your conscience. Thatís not
my job. You already know what is right and what is wrong. Obey
your own conscience and then you will be shown what to do next.
This way you lay your own foundation one brick at a time. In the
end you will be a free independent person strongly convicted of your
For as much as I
assumed the role of educator, I learned as much if not more from the
customers than I taught them. One notable experience was a lesson I
learned from a particularly obnoxious young man who often shopped at
Moss Hill. Iíll call him Larry. For a couple of years he would
stop in each week or so. Sometimes Larry would shop and other times
he just wanted to talk and Iíd listen.
several years younger than me and very full of himself. He was his
biggest fan. I could tell from his conversation that he was a
bright young man. As he often did, Larry talked constantly about
himself. He probably was lonely. Iím sure few people could suffer
his ego inflating ramblings. Larry could have been the poster child
for the self centered.
walked in, Iíd brace myself for the inevitable recitation of his
often confrontational monologue. I would listen but rarely was
given the chance to interject. He was a one way street and the
topic was always about him.
This guy really
bugged me. As he would talk Iíd resist rolling my eyes and blasting
him with my opinions. One day I was particularly annoyed with
Larry. I was about to give him a piece of my mind and could have
cut him to shreds. Just as I was about to unleash my opinion, God
interrupted my thoughts with these words: ďAgree with his highest
opinion of himselfĒ.
What? I was
shocked but held my tongue mulling over the words spoken to my
conscience. The brilliant wisdom of God flooded me rewriting years
of programming. What harm could come from agreeing with this young
man? Would good would come from my criticism?
Support of his
ideals would bring intimacy and trust whereas criticism would surely
hurt him and create distance. No doubt Larry had alienated others.
Larry needed encouragement not condemnation. I held my tongue in
deference to the compassion my heart now held for Larry.
I donít know
what ever became of Larry. The lesson I learned that day has stayed
with me and largely governed the way I now consider others.
Agree and support people even though they may seem at the time to be
outrageously self centered. Perhaps by finding acceptance they will
one day achieve the high ideals and goals within their hearts.