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Cookies and Bananas

There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.

(French Proverb)

There I stood with bananas in one hand and chocolate chip cookies in the other facetiously proclaiming to my friend, “The bananas are for the part of me which says I need to take care of myself and eat right. The cookies, well, they are for the side of me that says you only live once.”

Why do we give in to the things that are not good for us? And why do we allow the cookie side of our existence to dominate the banana side of life. “Most of us follow our conscience as we follow a wheelbarrow. We push it in front of us in the direction we want to go” (Billy Graham). God has given us a conscience, a voice, a gentle whisper within, to help us make good choices. “The conscience is thoroughly well-bred and soon leaves off talking to those who do not wish to hear it” (Samuel Butler).

What is the greatest evidence of God’s existence? Ezekiel Hopkins believes that the greatest evidence of God’s existence is that still small voice—that gentle whisper inside our hearts which is always communicating with us. He said, “There is a conscience in humanity; therefore there is a God.” God’s footprints are everywhere—around and within us. The heavens, the oceans, the birth of every living creature; these proclaim the reality of His being. Life, the human body, and the conscience bear witness to God. He is forever speaking. Our problem is that we have developed the habit of ignoring Him. Stop! Get quiet! Listen! “The conscience urges us towards that which is best and is the perfect interpreter of life” (Karl Barth).

God has given us help so follow the advice given in an old Hasidic saying, “Be the master of your will and the slave of your conscience.” God loves you enough not to be silent. “A good conscience is the palace of Christ; the temple of the Holy Spirit; the paradise of delight, the standing Sabbath of the saints” (Augustine). Listen to yourself—your inner self. Get quiet and hear what is being said to you from the banana side of life.

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