I need to say upfront that the English word “tweak” has nothing whatsoever to do with what the youth of today call “twerk”; one is a small but necessary adjustment, while the other is a kind of exotic, seductive dance, apparently. I really wouldn’t know, but I’ve heard the rumors. So… I may be a tweaker but I’m no twerker. More on that a little later.
Almost everyone on the planet loves a good story told by a passionate storyteller. Jesus was a master at this. His stories were allegories, using everyday objects His listeners understood, like lost coins, lost sons, pearls, and sheep. A particular favourite of mine is found in Matthew 19.24, the short one-line commentary on the camel and an eye of a needle. If you do the research you’ll find there’s a gate in Israel called the Eye of a Needle, which explains the next few verses, where Jesus says it’s hard, but doable.
I have no idea how you’d go about teaching a camel to kneel, which, I am assured, is the only way to get them thru the gate, but obviously, for those in the know, it’s possible.
Plato had Socrates tell the story now referred to as the Allegory of the Cave.
There is much more to the story but the short, Karified version goes something like this:
Numerous people were chained in a cave from early childhood, heads facing the wall. A fire burned brightly behind them, in front of the cave mouth. Objects moving in front of the cave mouth often cast shadows on the cave wall. The chained began naming these shadows, (I would imagine out of sheer boredom but I could be wrong), and over the years they came to believe these shadows to be real objects.
One of the captives was eventually set free. For the first time in his life he saw true reality. The poor guy could only focus on shadows at first because he couldn’t handle so much light. He gradually worked his way up to looking into water, then finally at real objects, by which time he realized the shadows he had seen all those years on the cave wall were merely a reflection, not true reality.
His desire became to set all the other captives free, sharing this truth about real reality. On returning to the cave he found them completely unreceptive to this knowledge; worse still, they ridiculed him, claiming his eyes had been weakened by the sun, since he was now unused to life in the shadows. They finally threatened to kill anyone who would ever attempt to set them free.
Just like the prisoners convinced shadows themselves are true beings, a perception that then dictated their reality, I find myself occasionally believing the lies told to me. Society daily plants these seeds in the mind, and some of us never take time to question them.
Like the prisoners in the cave, when we break free and experience the authentic love and acceptance of a risen Saviour and try to share it, those around us reject and ridicule us. Yet it’s not really the messenger they’re rejecting… it’s the message.
In Socrates’ own words, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
Now for the tweaking. May I encourage you to examine yours today? And if you find some places that need a little tweak or two, do it. Make your life a life worth living. The lives of those who will hear your story may well depend upon it.
Kari, the hearer, perceiver, tweaker, and doer
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[According to google, allegory is defined as “a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one”.]