He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God… Micah 6:8
The most important question of our human lives is the question ‘what does God require of us?’ But usually, we don’t ask that question until we are at the very bottom looking up. When things are good, if the question even crosses our mind, we figure we must be doing okay because after all look at how many blessings God has bestowed upon us. It’s only when everything is gone or when everything seems hopeless or when we have become captive, that we start to ask ourselves the hard questions concerning our motives, our values, and if we are seeking God’s will.
There is a story from the Buddhist tradition about a young man who wanted to discover the way to truth, goodness and salvation. The young man came to Buddha and asked him to show him the way to salvation. Buddha took him down to the river and out into the middle where the water was waist deep. He then took the man by the back of the neck and put his head under water. The man thought to himself, “I am being baptized and Buddha will let me up shortly.” But Buddha held his head under the water longer and longer. The man struggled and pushed his head up, but then Buddha used his other hand to push the man’s head even harder. The man tried to force his neck and head up above water, but the Buddha wouldn’t let him. The man started coughing under water and Buddha finally let him up and the young man grasped for air. He coughed out his words, “Buddha, why did you do that?” Buddha replied, “When you thought that you were drowning, what did you desire most?” The man said, “Air!” Buddha said, “When you crave God’s goodness and wholeness as much as you craved air, you will find it.” Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Where there is a craving inside of you for justice, for the organization of law and life so that all people and all countries of the world are fed; there you will find joy inside your soul.