Vices? Why pick on others?


Today I met the old shepherd who comes here often. He has seen many shades of life. I ask a lot of questions and he likes sharing his views; a listener and a speaker; our small conference gets along very well. His white hairs and wrinkles are the only two evidences of his old age. His health seems quite miraculous for the age of 85. He sits under a tree next to my farm fence and writes in his journal, keeping an eye on his herd meanwhile. Sometimes, when we talk, he scribbles something quickly in the journal and start talking again.
Today I asked him about vices that people have. And here is how it went.
“Sam is a big time chocoholic, you know?” I was in the gossip mood and he turned it into a fruitful conversation.
“So, you want me to shed some light on chocolate benefits?” he said smiling.
“No, I was just seeing my blog’s reader today and there was a post about vices”
“Vice; when I think of this word no one else comes to my mind,” he said. His vision was set on something far in the sky. “I asks to myself. Am I vice-free? Am I able to touch the skies of wisdom yet? No. No one is vice free. And I am not an exception. What are some of the biggest evils could be? What do you think? Smoking? Having a sweet tooth? Maybe. But what about the invisible evils that go unnoticed?”
It was a rhetorical question, I knew. He talks in a strange tone sometimes.
He goes on, “Bad habits that kill body should be avoided. I agree. But there are some that are lethal to souls. Having no faith in God. Doesn’t it kill soul? And what do you think about depression and anxiety etc.? There are more than a few people that I know, actually suffers from disbelief and lack of faith. And this weakness of soul translates itself in the language of body as depression and anxiety. I, myself had this problem. Someone took me to a psychiatrist and his medicines made the situation even worse. Ever heard the term ‘side effects’?”, he sighs, takes a sip of water and goes on, ” It was not a very tough time in my life, but somehow I started to believe things that did not existed the first place. I couldn’t walk properly; I had breathing problems; I had illusions; I was convinced that I would lose my wife as I had lost my father; there was a long list of my odd and unrealistic set of believes. And I was miserable.
One day God blessings came to me and I prayed. Do you know when we pray it is actually a blessing of God? It is.
I prayed. I was getting tired of my illness. I asked help and help arrived. I met a bearded old shepherd. And we became friends. One day he told me about faith. I shared with him my fear about losing my wife and he laughed.
“Do you run the world business?” , he asked jokingly.
I was really offended, but he asked again and that time he was serious.
“Do you run the world business?”
“No, I am not God.” I somehow managed to smiled,
“You have the answer of all your problems now. You are not God. It is not your business to take or give life. You belonged to God. Everything belonged to Him. He is the one who grows grass and crops; He is the one who feeds people and animals. He makes it rain. He changes weather. Do you know all this?”
“Yes, I do”
“Then why don’t you believe in God?”
“I believe that there is God who runs the world.”
“Oh you are just saying!”
“No”
“I am your friend. Why are you telling lie?”, he was ready to leave.
“I am not lying!”, I protested.
“Then why are you worrying so much?” He smiled and left.
And that was the time when I questioned myself. I had the answer.
So, the biggest vice and the hardest to deal with lies in your own self. You are the only one who can fix it. Seek and you shall find.”

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