I was whistl'n and sing'n my favorite tune while stroll'n along… and Ol’Baggy was pulling faces, as always he hears me singing it:
“Oh, c’mon Baggy… come; get with the beat!”
After I finished Baggy was snapp'n at me:
“Gosh, what a foolish gibberish! You’re always bawling this ridiculous tune… annoys the heck out of me! As if things just fall in your lap… man, what a crap! You better gotta put some effort into getting good results!”
“Oh, Baggy, c’mon! Hey buddy, stop pulling your faces, okay? Yeah, it’s my life’s song… this is all I lived through in all the years… I always got what I needed! Hey, get me right here! I haven’t said what I wanted, okay? But I got what I needed!”
Bagheera was giving me a friendly
“Shall I show you my house? You wanna see my new car? Shall I show you the pics of my last holiday?”
“Yeah! Great idea! Let’s go to your place… I always enjoy being with you and I haven’t seen your last pics yet!”
So we went over at Baggy’s place and after we'd looked at everything Baggy said:
“So, Baloo, how do you think I got all this? Do you think it was falling right from heaven… or growing on some trees out there? You have to use your brains to get all this… and no, buddy, this isn’t coming right at you! Costs some sweat! This is the way life goes… this is bare reality… and you better face it, buddy!”
He looked at me with some triumphant smile.
“Then tell me, Baggy, how I
managed to live all the years of my life, even raising seven sweet
bear cubs? We always got what we needed… and right, it didn’t cost
too much sweat!
When I needed something I told Big Chief about it and He gave to us.”
“You and your Big Chief! This is way too simplistic, Baloo! It was the Big Chief who said: In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread! (Gen. 3:19)"
“Yeah, you’re right, Baggy, this
is the usual way of life… but is it the ultimate ideal? Look, the
Great Master said, that this is the way of the “unbelievers”… and He
said, he didn’t want His followers to do like them. He wanted them
not to worry… taking no thought for their lives, what they will eat,
or what they will drink; nor yet for their body, what they will put
He even commanded them not to worry at all… trust’n Big Chief is everything… all these things will be added unto them. Baggy, he even said we can’t serve Him if we worry about money, houses, kids and all this stuff. (Matt. 6:24-34)"
“Baloo, Baloo! Wake up, buddy! Look around you! What do you see, heh? What is the reality, Baloo, the reality you see?”
“I see Big Chief cared for me for more than 22 years! I raised seven cubs… and they’re all doing fine… I even had leftover to help others in need! I never had to do some fundraising, never lived on social care!
There even had been some good friends advising me to put a big “Donate!-Sticker” on my back… but I refused to do so… didn't seem right for me to do. Looked as if I doubt the Great Master isn’t able to keep His word, right?”
“Baloo, you’re a hopeless case! Have you never had any troubles… never some dire straits?”
“Before I’ll answer this give me an answer on this one: Did you have troublesome times in your past years?”
Baggy looked very irritated:
“Of course I had them as you know! You know last year… I’d my burn-out after overdoing it due to my work load! You know about my heart problems. But… but…”
“Okay, Baggy! Of course I had my times of troubles – as everyone - too! To live after the word of Big Chief doesn’t mean everything's gonna run smooth'n easy… as some assume falsely. No it wasn’t easy to live on the verge of financial destruction for more than 5 years, this for sure! I was alone… absolutely alone. Even the ones once rejoicing over Big Chief's provision turned against me that time… trying to force me out of my position of just living the words of my Great Master.
But I always got help! The Big Chief gave me short jobs… or told others to give me from their overflow. They never knew about my situation, but Big Chief even used them though they didn’t know at all. Several times I was even giving my dear wife presents… yes, all this unnecessary stuff girls love so much… with our last money, Baggy… and Big Chief never failed us.
Just one time I had to ask for help… but the help I got is paid back - even with interest - I deliberately added from my side though it wasn’t required!”
The triumphant look had
disappeared from Bagheera’s eyes. He sat there staring at his paws… having ants in his pants:
“Baloo, don’t you see, you could have avoided those times if not so strictly living by the Great Master’s words… just using your wits and brains?”
“Baggy, don’t you see, your burn-out could have been avoided, if you'd followed the Master’s demand? You’re ruining your life… and this absolutely unnecessarily! You’re on heart-meds as you know!”
I laid my paw on his shoulder and sensed how his body was shaking.
Still he was staring at the ground.
“Look, the Big Chief gives us so wonderful promises like:
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for while they sleep He provides for those He loves. (Ps. 127:2)
We read in His word following Him isn’t sparing us troublesome moments and trials… but I rather prefer to know Him in charge of everything… than just having me alone to fix everything by my own very limited abilities!”
“But… but… Baloo, please, tell me the truth! Did you never wish to have a house and car like me? Do you never wish to travel around enjoying all the goods this world offers?”
I smiled at him:
“Of course I do! It’s not wrong to wish those things to have… it’s just wrong to have them as aim of your life!
I enjoy your nice house… like to drive in your car… and have my joy looking through your pics seeing all the lovely places you’d been!
If Big Chief would give them to me… hey, I wouldn’t say “No!”… This for sure! :-)!
But don’t misunderstand me here: I would never change my life’s motto of following the Great Master… being on the very place He wants me to be today!
Do you know what the Preacher says? Listen:
To the man who pleases Him, Big Chief 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 Big Chief. (Ecc. 2:26)
What do you say about this one? This is so true, Baggy! Even in my times of trouble I was singing praises to Big Chief!
I would never like to be in your place… never ever! You miss all this, Baggy! You go to bed with worries about your future… your plans. You work hard… and though you think you’re so right in all you do… you can’t enjoy the things you sacrificed so much for to get them... neither you can hinder them to be taken from you!
I know you wouldn’t like to hear this… but you’re just involved in the business Big Chief gave to: SINNERS! Do you get this, my friend?”
Yes, and the Great Master said the same! He said His followers shouldn’t act like sinners… He wants them to live different!
He promised to care for them… and here I am sitting beside you as the living proof – as “your reality” for this truth!”
“But, Baloo, is the Big Chief wanting us to do nothing… just sitting around waiting for Him to fill our needs?”
“Oh, Baggy, you have such a wrong perception about Big Chief! Haven’t you heard His words? Haven’t you heard the Great Master saying: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you?
Of course He wants us to be active… just not with "seeking" to get a big house and a nice car!
He wants us to live for His kingdom alone... and doing righteousness, of course! The other things He promised to give us after His perfect plan. Of course He gives us jobs we have to do for Him.”
“Is this really for every follower
of the Great Master? Isn’t there some chance this is just for bears
“No, Baggy, this He said for every follower. He said we can’t serve money and Him (Matt. 6:24) and He said we are only His followers if we do what He says! (Lu. 6:46 / Jo. 8:31)”
“But why is nobody doing what He says, Baloo? There are so many saying they’re His followers… but they don’t live after what the Great Master said.”
“Yes, I know! But why let others determine what you and I ought to live by? We all have to appear before the Great Master one day (2.Cor. 5:10) and it doesn’t matter what others have done then! He will just ask you, about what you have done. And in case you haven’t done His will all your houses, cars, beautiful holidays and all your labor - the opinion of others, too - won’t impress Him. Just doing His will counts! (Matt. 7:21-23)”
I saw some sweat appearing on
“Baloo, this is putting me under quite some stress now… this is worrying me very much! I feel pain in my heart! How can you - as my good friend - tell me such terrible things?”
“Eeeeh, what you've said? What is so terrible about this? For me it’s great news! Can you explain this to me, buddy?”
“Oh, Baloo, can’t you see? I would
so prefer to have both: Big Chief’s favor… and all I so love to have
here! Wouldn’t it be great to have Him supporting me with all I
need… and still having my desires fulfilled?”
“Forget about this, Baggy, that's not possible! One day someone asked the Great Master what he has to do to enter the kingdom of Big Chief. The Master said he should sell his riches and give them to the poor… and then follow Him! This man was rich but he didn’t accept the Master's conditions. He shook his head and went away (Mark 10:17-27)
The Master said the ones following Him should even hate their fathers, mothers, wives and kids etc. – even their own lives. He said we should sit down and make up our minds whether we really want to follow Him… after all He requires from us. (Lu. 14:26-35)
Nobody is forced to live this way, Baggy! You can say “no” and act like the one who decided to keep his riches.
Just if you want to follow the Master and seeing His provision becoming visible in your life you have to leave all - to get His life. There is no other way!”
I could see the battle raging in my friend’s heart. He wasn’t able to hide it well:
“Does this mean I have to live like you, Baloo? Do we all have to live like bears?”
“No, Baggy, it’s not about what you do… it’s just about what you “seek” after!
The Big Chief has different plans for all of us… and imitating me would just mean you’re a follower of me… and not a follower of the Great Master!
If you will copy me as best you can… the Master will tell you one day: I don’t know you!
The “seeking” of your heart must be after the Master alone! You have to listen to Him… and then you have to do what He will tell you to do!
There is even a “golden rule” you should follow: As long He doesn’t give new instructions better stay put with that He told you last!”
By the way! Look! You're a panther - I'm a bear! You can do things I can't do - and vice versa! Big Chief made all of us different... and copying me would definitely end in your failure, most definitely! It’s just right for each of us being at this place He has for us - doing the things He tells us to do!”
"But what if you'll get something
wrong or make a mistake? This could have devastating consequences!
So how do you make sure you heard Him? Where are your securities?"
"Well, there is no such thing you call security, buddy! Where is your security when you'll jump your car... having a crash the next corner? If you would have known, of course, you would have chosen another route, right? But see, you don't know what will be tomorrow... and you can't secure your life against all odds possible!
You're thinking like this man the Great Master told us about:
The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.
He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'
Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
And I'll say to myself, You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.'
But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'
This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich towards God. - Lu. 12:16-21
Yes, Baggy, I even know
today I will
make mistakes... yes, I'm weak! I can't give you a guarantee you
wouldn't find me having some nice bruises tomorrow!
But this doesn't bother me at all... that's life! You're ruining yourself with your foolish "control-mania"... you can't control everything! So you better learn trust'n, buddy!
Relax! Come fall apart in my backyard! I'll tell you all about my "security"!"
Bagheera was searching my face as
I looked him right into the eyes:
"See, Baggy, you can't avoid mistakes... nobody can! But how was it with us back then being little cubs? Did we care about dangers and bruises... did we worry we might stumble and fall when we learned walking?
No, of course we didn't, right? Though we hit rock bottom quite often we never gave up... and so we learned walking in the end!
You see this is one of Big Chief's natural rules: Never give up! Never give in! Keep trying... and trying!
See, how often we ran to our Mammas crying, showing them our bruises. Did they yell at us... exhorting us better not trying to walk again?
No, rather the opposite! They took us on their laps, giving us some sweet kisses... and then encouraged us to keep on trying!
In the same way Big Chief is handling all our failures or when we'll get something wrong - or will make mistakes by learning to do His will!
He even says the righteous will fall seven times a day... but will stand up again! (Prov. 24:16)
He is like our Mammas! (Is. 49:15+16)
No, He's even more than our Mammas! He's made a plan for our lives... and is watching over it to come through! (Ps. 139:16 / Jer. 29:11-14)
He says we're the apple of His eye! And as you keep your eyes safe He will watch over us (Ps. 17:8 / Zac. 2:8). No, this doesn't mean we won't get bruises in future, but as our Mammas watched over us He will keep us from any danger threatening His plans with us... right, not our plans! His plans!
Look, I don't know what tomorrow will bring... and I don't know what skills I may need to make it through... but I trust the One who even knows the end of my days. (Ps 37:5)
Do you know what the Great Master said to His followers? Hey, you have to hear this one:
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. - Mark 13:11
Do you see? He doesn't want them
to worry about future things at all! It's not just about speaking
alone... it's about everything! He provides us with everything!
Oh, Baggy, isn't that wonderful? We don't have the promise everything will go after our wishes... but we can relax in the "security" we're His very own... and that His plans with our lives will come true anyway! I so wish I could show you the joy and peace this gives!
I don't need to control anymore... I don't need to secure and protect anymore... I AM SAFE! Safe in Him!
You and I will fail, you can bet on this... but He never fails! See, He even commands His angels to protect me! (Matt. 4:6)
The only thing you and I have to keep in mind is:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. - Is. 55:8+9
He is always good for surprises!
Oh, yes, He is!... and therefore we have to be flexible... have to
go with the flow of His Spirit!
But in all the surprises - and some of them I didn't like at all, first - I've learned: He knows best! I even learned to give Him praises in times of trouble... though I didn't know their final outcome. I learned to trust Him completely... and till today He never failed me!"
I could see a little smile on
Baggy's face now:
“Oh, Baloo, now I see! I had such wrong conceptions here. I always thought it is about the doing… and not about the being! My focus was always on me... and all I do and want to accomplish, of course! Me, me, me... I was the center of all I did. Never I was able to relax like you... and your little tune was tick'n me off!
But thanks for sharing your heart with me. Now I see! Now I finally know what the Big Chief had in mind when he made me! He is really all I need! I just need Him!”
That 'your' hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. - Col. 2:3
“Right, Baggy! It’s about being in the Great Master. Without Him all we do is in vain… no matter what we do. It doesn’t matter at all! Yes, He even said without Him we aren’t able to accomplish anything! (Jo. 15:5)
One day He was invited to His
friends’ house and this happened that day:
His friend Martha was very busy to bring the best food possible on the table. While she was hurrying around she got more and more frustrated... all the time her sister Mary was sitting at the Master’s feet totally lost in listening to Him – while Martha was left working in the kitchen alone.
Finally she had enough… yes, she even got angry at the Great Master, too! Why didn’t He tell her sister to help her? So she said to Him:
“Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she helps me.”
And Jesus answered and said unto her: “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” - Lu. 10:40-42
Bagheera was interrupting me now:
“This I do understand very well now! Being before Him, giving Him preeminence over the “needs of this world” is better than working around the clock… working till total exhaustion to get my things done... my way!”
“Right, Baggy, the Great Master
said, we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes
out of Big Chief’s mouth. (Matt. 4:4)
Bread you can replace with everything we have need of here on earth… everything important for our lives: food, water, money, houses, cars, health, wealth, friends etc.
For a follower of the Great Master this isn’t a “need” anymore… there is just one need… one necessity… one thing we all need to have: The word of the Big Chief!
Where do we hear these words? Right, at the Great Master’s feet! Being at this place you will get everything you need to know:
Instruction and direction, comfort in times of trouble, strength, peace and joy!
Remember, by the words spoken by Big Chief the whole universe was made… just by His words alone!
Everything… even the things you think impossible… is possible by His words. He speaks and His words become reality… not one word fails. (Is. 55:11)
So what do we need? Our brains and wit… our work and labor? Or having Him on our side?
We can learn to be content with all Big Chief will give to us... being satisfied with Him alone! (1.Tim. 6:6-10)”
“You know what? I see I can do that, too, Baloo!
I can even start to live by this "necessity" today, can’t I?
Why not giving away the things I can’t keep anyway… for receiving things nobody can take from me?
Yes, now I can see why you so love your ole tune!
This was the best talk we've ever had! Love ya, ol'grumpy!”
... with this I grabbed a guitar and we started singing together... sweet little birdies joining in with us: