We live a time that technology slaves us. The social medias, smartphones, electronics equipment and the manipulations of marketing have made of us puppets dominated by futilities. It’s time for a serious reflection on these reigning obsessions, and very present in our days. We are missing one of fundamental principles of Gospel of that “all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (1 Corinthians 6:12). We live at a time when we become easily “slaves” of many things. Wise are those who discover early on that: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal 5: 1). Everything that enslaves us or dominates us, have to be seriously questioned. We are servants of one Lord: Jesus. I remember a close friend, who confronted me one day, saying: “You believers are oppressed, can not nothing, everything is prohibited”. I asked his permission, and I grabbed his cigarette portfolio from pocket of his shirt, and asked him: “Do you think may I smoke?” He replied: “Sure, you may do this, but I know that you will not do it because of your principles of life”. Then, I concluded with him: “I know that I might do it, but I know also that I must not do it. Unlike, you know that you must stop to smoke, but you can not do it”. He lowered his head and lamented, “I’ve tried many times, but I can not stop to smoke.” Nothing should dominate us, except the love of Christ that compels us. Peace and Grace!
Vivemos um tempo em que a tecnologia nos escraviza. As mídias sociais, smartphones, equipamentos eletrônicos e as manipulações de marketing fizeram de nós marionetes dominados por futilidades. É tempo para uma reflexão séria sobre essas obsessões reinantes e muito presentes em nossos dias. Estamos perdendo um dos princípios fundamentais do Evangelho de que “todas as coisas me são lícitas; mas eu não me deixarei dominar por nenhuma delas” (1Co 6:12). Vivemos numa época em que nos tornamos facilmente “escravos” de muitas coisas. Sábios são aqueles que descobrem cedo que: “Cristo nos libertou para que nós sejamos realmente livres” (Gl 5:1). Tudo o que nos escraviza ou nos domina, precisa ser seriamente questionado. Somos servos de um só Senhor: Jesus. Lembro-me de um grande amigo que confrontou-me um dia, dizendo: “Vocês, os crentes, são oprimidos, não podem nada, tudo é proibido”. Eu pedi licença, peguei a carteira de cigarro no bolso de sua camisa, e lhe perguntei: “Você acha que eu posso fumar um cigarro?” Ele respondeu: “Claro, você pode fazer isso. Mas, eu sei que você não vai fazê-lo por causa de seus princípios de vida”. Então, concluí com ele: “Eu sei que eu poderia fazê-lo, mas sei também que eu não devo fazê-lo. Ao contrário, você sabe que deve parar de fumar, mas não pode fazê-lo”. Ele abaixou a cabeça e desabafou: “Eu tentei várias vezes, mas eu não consigo parar de fumar.” Nada deve nos dominar, exceto o amor de Cristo que nos constrange. Graça e paz!
Yesterday, I was touched deeply with a comment posted on one of my articles by a beloved, unforgettable, former and always sheep, Elma Persici. Suddenly, I was like that abducted on the time. I traveled on time, reviving very clearly unspeakable moments that we lived together, at the feet of the Lord. At the time, Mrs Persici was just a baby in faith, full of doubts and of endless questions. She has grown, has become a strong, faithful and fruitful Christian in God’s Kingdom. I do not know why, but when I returned from mental journey that has brought me so much joy, came to my mind the Rev. David Wilkerson who impacted generations between the decades 70 and 90, with his ministry among young people addicted to drugs. I wondered the millions of people that was impacted with his ministry, and he heard nothing about them and about their lives transformed by the power of God. I concluded peremptorily: We do not need to see the fruits of our labor in God’s Kingdom. We just need obey: “I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit”. And this makes all the difference.
Ontem, me emocionei profundamente com o comentário postado em um dos meus artigos por uma querida, inesquecível, ex e sempre ovelha, Elma Persici. Abruptamente fui abduzido no tempo e revivi momentos inenarráveis que vivemos juntos, aos pés do Senhor. Elma era apenas um bebê na fé, cheia de dúvidas e inesgotáveis questionamentos. Cresceu, tornou-se uma cristã robusta, fiel e frutífera no Reino de Deus. Não sei por que razão, mas ao retornar da viagem mental que me trouxe tantas alegrias, veio-me a mente o Rev. David Wilkerson que impactou gerações nos anos 70-90 com seu ministério entre os jovens dependente de drogas. Fiquei imaginando as milhões de pessoas que ele impactou e jamais ficou sabendo nada sobre elas e sobre suas vidas transformadas pelo poder de Deus, através de seu trabalho. Conclui peremptoriamente: Não precisamos ver o fruto do nosso trabalho no Reino de Deus, precisamos apenas obedecer: “…vos designei, para que vades e deis frutos e o vosso fruto permaneça”. Isto faz toda a diferença!
It may seem strange and even melancholic, but that’s it: a year LESS of life. Strictly speaking, it would not be today, but as I do not know the day of my departure, I consider the day of my arrival. The Austrian neurologist of Jewish origin, creator of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud discerned wisely the secret of life: “If you want to endure life, prepare yourself for death”. This Freudian concept is not so far away, nor is it very different from the Judeo-Christian concept of life. The psalmist cries out to the Lord: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). In his prayer the psalmist reveals that to attain insight of finitude of life and to consider with naturalness the ephemerality of it, is to achieve true wisdom. Alienated are those who live as if the earthly life is endless, as if there was not a deadline to fulfill our mission on earth. The insanes waste their lives with banalities, feelings petty, seeking ephemeral trivialities. The prophet Amos, in Chapter 4, strongly condemns the banalities and the foolishness of the people of Israel, concluding with a stern warning: “… prepare to meet your God.” (V.12). Today I am turning 56, a year LESS of my life, that’s it. It is very likely that with 56 years, I have lived more than which I still will live. It is a folly to ignore that there will be an end to this our ephemeral earthly journey. Time is short for frivolities; I have no time to lose, wasting my time with trivialities. I conclude by making my own the words of unforgettable thinker Rubem Alves, in his magnificent article entitled “The time and the jabuticabas”:
“I counted my years and found out that I will have less time to live going forward than I have lived so far. I feel like that girl who won a jabuticabas basin. The first ones, she sucked fecklessly, but realizing that there were only a few, she gnawed down to the stone of the fruit. I do not have time to deal with mediocrities. I do not want to be in meetings with a parade of inflated egos. I do not tolerate fanfaronade. I get uneasy with those envious people that try to destroy those they admire, coveting their seats, talent, and luck. I do not have time for megalomaniacal projects.. I do not have time for megalomaniacal projects. I do not have time for megalomaniacal projects. I will not attend the conferences establishing fixed deadlines to reverse the misery of the world. I don’t want to be invited to events of a weekend with the proposal to shake the millennium. I have no time for endless meetings to discuss statutes, rules, procedures and internal regulations. I have no time to deal with piques of people, who despite the chronological age are immature. I do not want to see the clock hands advancing in meetings of ‘confrontation’, where ‘we try get to the bottom of something’. I hate to do face-to-face of contenders, who fought for majestic post of general secretary of the choir. I remembered how Mario de Andrade that affirmed: ‘people do not debate content, only the labels’. My time has become scarce to debate labels. I want the essence, my soul is in a hurry… Without many jabuticabas in the basin, I want to live beside of human people, very human; folks that know laugh at his blunders; folks that do not dazzle themselves by triumphs; folks who do not consider oneself elected ahead of time; folks that who do not run away from their mortality; folks that defend the dignity of the marginalized, and who desires just walk beside of what is righteous. Walk close to things and real people, enjoying that love absolutely without fraud, will never be a waste of time. ‘The essential makes life worthwhile, and for me the essential is enough.
 Jabuticaba is a fruit of the jabuticabeira tree in the family Myrtaceae native to Minas Gerais and São Paulo states in southeastern Brazil. Related species in the genus Myrciaria, often referred to by the same common name, are native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia. It looks like a black grape, but with a very unique taste.