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Mis-calculated. Or Get it Right.

I was reading a story about an old beggar who once begged at a train station in Egypt, who used to go around the station begging as saying “Makhaly miss-calculated… Makhaly miss-calculated…”, the beggars name was Makhaly, a rich Greek migrant who migrated to Egypt with a lot of wealth, however he became lazy, decided to close all his shops, collect all his wealth, bank it and thought he could live off the interest and the wealth to the end of his life and accordingly he “miscalculated” as he never allowed for inflation or depressions and recessions nor wars and occupations… thus he ran out of money and had no option but to beg on the streets reiterating to everyone the dire error of his ways and how he miscalculated his life.

Such a story that quickly reminded me of a similar parable that the Lord gave us in the book of Matthew 25, the parable of the talents, very quickly an image transpired in my head of the servant who depended on the Grace and rejected the works, and decided to bury his talent… he also miscalculated…. But who gets it right anyway these days?

Mind you everyone out there is trying to get it right, it’s a fad, and we have conferences and sermons on how to get it right, even our government recently was trying to convince us that they are trying to get it right with the Reserve Bank !

We live the world of perfection; we all seek perfection and in a way are programmed to seek perfection in everything always trying to get it right. So much so that we are even now questioning our orthodoxy in order to get it right, as if St Athanasious, St Basil, St Gregory and all our great early fathers got it wrong. And when we ask how we are going to get it right we are told the Spirit will fill us and lead us, as if these great fathers who dedicated their lives to God were filled by a different Spirit.

Do you really think that he who depends on his Christianity and the free salvation that was granted to us, denying spiritual struggles and works of repentance and the sacraments can get it right… dose it is just sound like Makhaly who depended on his wealth and refused to work? Makhaly honestly thought his money would last; he is like him who repeats “I have been saved, the Lord has saved me, I am he who lives in Grace, and thus should have the freedom of worship…” does this sound like someone who is got it right? Or he who invested his masters talents, struggled with fasting and prayer in spiritual watchfulness, seeking the narrow gate (Luke 13:24), weeping in repentance and confession, listing to the Holy Sprit calling on the mouth of St Paul saying “complete your salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 12:2).

Did St Athanasious get it wrong when he stood against the whole world defending his faith and doctrine? And has our doctrine become so cheap in this wretched times that we live that we now think that we are better than St Athanasius, St Discourus, St Samuel the confessor and the heroes of our faith, that endured exile, prison and the sword in defence of the faith that we now have, we think that we are more informed and that we are the ones who have got it right? And they who lost their lives got it wrong!

Let’s dedicate this opportunity of the Lenten season to try to get it right, that’s right, its time for us to struggle, to fast, to repent, to uplift ourselves spiritually with works of mercy so that we may join all those saints and inherit the eternal life. Let’s get it right.


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