What is valuable?
Worthwhile. That's the Spanish expression that Pip, my Flickr friend in Spain, said of this rainstorm. The Spanish literally means "it's worth the pain." But it's an idiom. I suppose in modern days we could just say, vale, but the traditionalists win out in the use of the full phrase. (Title of the photo is "La que nos cayó encima... pero valió la pena..."That which falls from above on us, but it's worthwhile)
A Norwegian lady came into our book shop last week. She lives in Hong Kong. And she bought some books on the Holocaust. We had a good chat, and God is moving on her heart, helping her adjust from atheism to a more God-centered life. Pretty good. I got her contact details, and then I gave her our newsletter, translated into Mandarin. At that she was very upset. Not that I gave her something for free. Not that it was in Chinese, in fact, she liked that. What bothered her was the type of Mandarin we used. It's one of two types used in the world today: simplified.
Some years ago, we made a decision to have our newsletters translated into Chinese that we would not use the 'traditional' language which was bulkier and longer and harder, but instead went with the more modern, the 'simplified.'
I don't regret this decision, but it was fascinating to see a woman from another country guarding the old style, as if it were her own native tongue and in fact as if it belonged to her family for generations.
For her, the traditional was worthwhile.
I keep thinking about that word 'worthy.' The online dictionary says it is, "Sufficiently valuable or important to be worth one's time, effort, or interest." That is, it's worth the pain. So effort, interest or time are pain. Really?
Yup, really. That is, if something doesn't cost you, it's not worth anything. Or the older adage, "you get what you pay for." Forgive the prepositional ending. What you spend, you gain. If it's cheap, and costs you little, it's probably worth little.
So when we sing on this Sunday morning in churches worldwide, "Thou are worthy" to the Lamb who was slain, and when we hear the book of the Revelation from which that is quoted read aloud, let us join John in shouting of the worthwhile nature of the One who died for us. Let us worship the One who is worthy.
It's worth our pain.
It was worth His pain to bring us back into relationship with the Father.
On what do you spend your pain today?
Some reflective quotations:
from the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation (Chapter) 4. (verse)11 “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.”
Rev. 5.2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?”
Rev. 5.4 And I began to weep greatly, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look into it;
Rev. 5.9 And they *sang a new song, saying, “Worthy art Thou to take the 1book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Rev. 5.12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”