The Other Way Of Doing Things (Sun Tzu 4:8) (Genesis 2:9; John chapter 1; Proverbs 8:23ff)
I never did quite comprehend
That Eden story where the end
Began one sunny day back when
First man and woman were such friends –
With God, and good, that their delight
Was in the flowers – doing right
Because that’s all they knew in life –
There were no words for “fight”, and “strife”.
But now I see – alternative –
A way of life with push and shove;
Not evil as a thought proposed,
But evil-one – the way he goes.
For that’s the part I understand,
The other way that’s underhand,
Not out in front where goodness’ light
Dispels the shadows of such night.
Now there it is, I get it now –
The story tells of one day how
Mankind observed another way
To do their lives – from snake which lay –
In grass and hung from other trees,
And swayed seductively to please
The senses with a baser sort,
With promise gained through self-support.
We bought the package – what a mess
Began that day with hopefulness;
And such a way still reigns today
In world of work, and thought, and play.
But as the story says – “Not true –
That way of life will make you blue;
Mess up your close relationships;
And foul what flows from life and lips.”
So, God said, “Fine – for ‘choice’ is yours –
Invention’s mine – a life of doors
You can go in and out each day
As you select the roads you take.
“But I’m not into all that stuff –
I’m here, you’re there – you’ll find it tough –
But when you’d like to try My way,
Come home – you’ll have a better day”.
A tree of life in garden grows;
We draw from it – from it there flows
As monthly harvest of fine fruit,
Ezekiel’s view of better route –
Than what we get out here each day,
As we think up some work for pay,
To eke our paltry livelihood
Based on the ways we’ve understood.
“That’s how it’s done” he said to me;
I shook my head, thought silently,
He has no clue how it is done,
His lessons now have just begun.
“He knows”, I thought, “he understands;
And now that evil, through his hands,
Flows out – such creativity’s
Quite blinded by the ‘good’ he sees.
“But it’s not ‘good’, its twisted up
So badly he can’t see the cup
That faces me this frosty eve,
In which, at length, they’ll take their leave”.
Since when have we thus understood
Such way of evil we call ‘good’?
Since we chose eating from that tree,
So we another way could see.
So choice is not twixt good and bad,
But source of trees, a choice we’ve had
Since at the first – our source for life –
One tree provides a life of light.
The fight’s not ours, it’s God’s – instead
Of battle lines, what God has said
To us in Scripture’s guiding lines,
“Be one in me, a way you’ll find”.
It’s in this context Sun Tzu’s words
Perspective gives – once they are heard;
For what they are – some ways to fight –
Of waging war where there’s no light.
But actually they’re not from him –
He saw them in the world of sin
But they’re adapted from above,
Where evil ways meet ways of love.
So – how ’bout here, where we all live?
Where does this fit? And should we give
Much heed to what Sun Tzu points out?
For clear he is, without a doubt.
Well, yes and no – for yes, I’d say
Pay heed, it is the devil’s way
Writ well (though few are quite that good
At being bad – that’s understood).
“Though innocent, be wise indeed”
Christ said, “spend time on bended knee,
And get your guidance from above,
Then walk that out in days of love.
“But leave to Spirit ways to walk;
The words to speak; and forms of thought;
Perfection’s not the goal to seek;
Direction’s where we Spirit meet.
It keeps us from those “other ways”
We think so smart, where “winning” pays
Us handsomely despite expense
To folks who try some strong defense.
So, Sun Tzu’s word depicting war
Helps us to comprehend the more
Christ’s cosmic ways, what He’s about,
As He our daily path lays out.
A commentary on Christ’s ways;
So, comprehending what Christ says,
We’re not so quick to jump right in
With ways made popular through sin.