To Be, or Not to Be?
To Be, or Not To Be?
A brief slight of Stalin sent Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to prison for eight years. His prison life was worse than anything we can imagine. In an Arctic wasteland he labored as a mason from dawn until dark. This world-famous author had no pen, no paper, and no permission to write. He had no family to visit, since his parents were dead and his wife divorced him.
Surely such unjustified suffering would drive this gifted, sensitive man to insanity. Instead, it led him to self-analysis. He looked at his own vanity, superficiality, and selfishness. Asked to describe his time in prison, he blessed the prison for having become part of his life. Shortly before leaving prison, he penned a famous prayer later to be published in Vogue. He praised God and confessed how simple it was to live for him and how easy to believe in him (Redding, A Rose Will Grow Anywhere, 67–69).
Each day he walks the long, twisting halls of the major corporation for which he works. He uses crossovers to reach the three city blocks of buildings. Into each office he brings the daily mail and picks up outgoing mail. Nothing special, you think. Then you ask what is up? Or, how are things? Or, what is the good news today? Immediately you get the answer—Jesus saves. This is not just a slogan for David. It is a way of life. Everyone he sees hears a word about Jesus. Everyone who looks at his mail cart finds signs about the love of Jesus. Notice closely, and you will hear him quoting Scripture to himself as he rolls his cart, not just random popular verses. He quotes whole chapters, sections, or even books. He learns Spanish so he can witness to the Latino population of our community. While the rest of us fight to get on top and make the big bucks, David quietly lives out the mind of Christ in daily contact with stockers in the warehouse and with the corporate executives. Most would see him as one of the least of the world’s population. Christ most likely places him among the greatest.