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Stop & Think . . .

 •Why do you trust your friends?

•How trustworthy are you?
•Do you trust God to help you overcome your problems?
•Read Psalm 9:9 and Psalm 145:14 from the Bible. What do these two verses tell you about finding help in times of trouble?

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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Three Unbearable Things

by Juliana Marín

After my last friend dumped me (can you relate?) God put a wise woman in my path who helped me learn to trust again.

 The critique of pure reason, transcendental idealism, and the names of Kant, Descartes, Berkeley, Leibniz, and Hume were whirling through my head as I trudged up the hill to my house late that night after another four-hour philosophy class at the university. I’d learned so much that day about philosophy, the love of wisdom. But it wasn’t helping me with any of the problems I had at that moment.

Tears stung my eyes as I remembered the cruel betrayal of yet another one of my friends—I had none left. I stopped walking and sat down on a small park bench away from the lighted street. I’d loved and trusted my friends, but I’d been blind. I hadn’t realized that they just wanted to be friends with me for my money. Now that I needed them, they let me know that they didn’t care.
Everything hurt inside. I covered my face in my hands and sobbed. “I can’t bear it, Lord,” I whispered, feeling broken. “I feel like there’s no one trustworthy anymore. It’s not worth it.”
I cried for a while. Then I got up, dried my eyes, and kept going. Sooner or later I had to face the fact that I was alone. I had to harden my heart and never trust again.
A few blocks farther up the road there was an old lady selling corn cakes from a hot grill. For some reason I stopped. I never bought things to eat on the street, but this time I decided to. I didn’t really want to face my parents so soon and have to explain my puffy eyes.
The dark-skinned woman wiped her hands on her greasy apron and gave me a toothy grin. “What’ll it be, love?” she asked.
“Um, how much does a cheese corn cake cost?” I asked.
“Two thousand pesos [a little less than a dollar],” she said.
As I reached for my wallet, she asked, “You coming from studying, dear? You look plumb tuckered out.”
“Yeah,” I sighed. “It’s been a long day.”
I stopped and stared at my wallet. I always carried around lots of money, but tonight I had only one wrinkled 1,000-peso bill. I scrounged around in my backpack and came up with a few coins, but it still wasn’t enough.
“Sorry,” I said, putting my wallet away again. “I have only 1,500.”
The woman shrugged. “Go ahead. You can bring me the rest another day.”
I stared at her. “Huh?”
“I said go ahead and eat up. You can pay me back later.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. “But . . . you’ve 
. . . never even seen me before,” I said cautiously. “How do you know I’ll pay?”
With a smile she shrugged again. “I don’t, but I’m trusting you.”
I froze. “Why?” I asked.
Look,” she said, putting her hands on her hips, “I ain’t got much schooling, but I’ve learned something important, and that’s that there’s only three things unbearable in this life: a real big hunger, a real big thirst, and a real big need to go to the bathroom. And you look like you’ve got a real big hunger, so go ahead and eat up that corn cake and pay me later.”
Tears smarted my eyes again. “Only three unbearable things, huh?” I repeated softly, swallowing. “Yeah, I guess so.”
I sat down as she served me the steaming- hot cake with melted cheese dripping over its side. It was the most delicious thing I had ever eaten.
We talked for a lot longer. She told me about her life, about her kids, about what she’d learned along the way. And in her simple, down-to-earth, school-of-the-street wisdom, I came to understand more about this world than I did in my university philosophy class.
I learned what I really needed to know: that though life is difficult at times, there are only a few things in life that are truly unbearable. The problems I was having right then . . . well, I could handle them, I could get over them. And there are good people in this world after all.
That woman, who’d never had more than an elementary school education, gave me the biggest philosophy lesson of my life that night. And God gave me a reason to trust again.
Juliana Marín’s hobbies include reading, writing, working with clay, and studying history. She writes from Colombia, South America.

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