The Karma We Don't Have To Work For

The kind of karma we don't have to work for

I recently had the privilege to take a trip to a city I loved and been to a handful of times; yet this trip was slightly different because it was for something familiar (an event), although something I had never done before (new people, new company, new atmosphere).

I love traveling, so there was no worry there. 
I love cities, and the exploration is always fun. 
I also love events and talking with people and chances to meet new people; and so, I was excited all around!

This trip was coming at a time in life where it was gladly welcomed to break up some monotony; so my bags were packed a day early and on the plane I went excited for a weekend away full of possibilities!  "Who will I meet?" I wondered. "What stories will I hear?" "What adventures will I get into?" I boarded the plane with endless possibilities and my joy sky high. Excited for the adventure ahead; I hailed my cab(aka black escalade!) and off we headed towards this magical city. 
Later after check-in at the hotel, I had decided I wanted to grab some sushi from the neighboring Whole Foods.  Just before I went I knew I needed to plug in my computer! (I had a huge project deadline waiting to be finished so figured I would start the download while I was gone
I grabbed my wallet and went to plug my laptop in; low and behold, I couldn't find that little black briefcase!!!

"Lord please tell me this is not happening" 
I said under my breath as I started to breathe faster. 
I started to look everywhere. 
I called the hotel lobby; thinking maybe I left it at check-in. Wasn't there. I panicked. 
I was overcome by the gut-wrenching drop in my spirit. I left it in the cab and now I had NO idea how to get my computer back or how to locate this driver, after all there was a million cabs! 
So, I did what I could do at this point. I called the shuttle service and reported it.  Then I called the airport. They even had me call the police (um, is that ok since its not an emergency? I thought.) 
The Policeman laughed and told me they didn't handle these type of calls and to call the airport back. After three attempts while getting a recording every time, and heaps of tears later; I was in a magical city not even beginning to explore or adventure out, and I was devastated about being without my computer. (Not because of the monetary value; I could ultimately get a new computer, but because of the external hard drive IN my PC case that had literally ALL of my master copies and project timelines on it, not to mention valuable memories!:( 

At this point sushi would make me sick and I couldn't bare going out. 
Plus it was late and my weekend gig started bright and early. I needed the rest. 
And so, with a surrendered heart and literally feeling helpless but choosing to remain somewhat hopeful; I would go to bed praying I would wake up from this bad dream to a found computer! 

Didn't happen. 

The following morning I talked with my new "colleague" for the following days about my computer crisis. As she asked about the status I told her I was praying about it and hopeful something would work out. Truth is; I didn't know if it would! I didn't know if my computer would be found. I didn't know if I'd have to pay $2500 for another computer. I didn't know if I'd have to re-edit the video I just put together for another client. I didn't know if there'd be a way to recover the dozens of projects and files so dear to me (including thousands of pictures).  My coworker sat across the table from me; while I shared my hope of getting my computer back.  I told her all I could do was to keep praying it would show up; and she chimed in; "oh I'll totally lift up some positive thoughts for you" as if to cheer me up.  Of course, not wanting to seem disappointed by her "vibes" I half-smiled but sincerely said "thank you."  She went on to share about how she thought "putting positive thoughts into the environment" and how "karma always pays off" would be my resolve. 

Right as I was thinking "wow, she doesn't get it" at the same time I was checked with the thought "I haven't stolen anything, so why is karma happening this way?!" 

Now admittedly so; I was convicted for even thinking about karma in terms of "bad things come to bad people and good things come to good people;" because I somehow wanted to show this girl karma was the least of how things would work out. You see, I am SO aware that things usually pay off with hard work or people get what they deserve, but my heart was broken because I didn't know how I'd convince this gal things in life are so much more than karma!  However, she did have a point to consider which is why I share this with all of my faith believing Jesus loving friends today; but also my non-faith filled friends...

        Karma is the idea of being good to one another so good comes back to you! In return though, if you're a bad person; you steal, cheat, or destroy, then eventually things will catch up to you, and you TOO will lose things of yours, stop succeeding, and get what your actions "asked for."  

Now I think for most "karma" believing people they generally try to "be good" so when they talk about karma its so that good will come back around.  As a faith filled follower of Christ I believe some of the way we are supposed to behave is 'karma-like" as in do good to be repaid with good.  Stay with me though: With my whole heart I believe we are supposed to mimic the actions of Christ! We're supposed to love the least of these. Feed the poor, honor our parents; love our neighbors, even pray for our enemies, and turn the other cheek when being treated the wrong way; as in "don't repay evil for evil." (Mt 25:35-40, Eph 6:2, Mark 12:31, Mt 5:39, 44)
Today there are so many wonderful people doing amazing things for the world and their friends and families with big philanthropic hearts to make a difference! Knowing people like this makes me feel inferior and totally convicts me to love people better! I get to see good repaid with even more good and making a bigger difference a lot of times in places that aren't event professing to be a faith based cause.  Also, sadly, there is a ton of faith professing "Christians" who are outright terrible to be around. They are rude; self-righteous; hypocritical people. They judge. They rob people of joy. They are not nice, nor fun to be around; and they claim they believe in and follow Jesus. To which I say "claim" loosely.  

The difference between the reality of who Christ is and the hope he brings AND Karma and the hope we have that "good will be repaid with good" comes down to a few very significant things though: 

With Karma, when life is going well for you; or you're seeing "good" repaid with "good" like a raise, favor or positive vibes simply because you're "behaving good" in terms of society, good fortune is coming your way.  But, consider this; the moment things start going south, or the moment a person acts ugly or misbehaves; people suddenly give up and the whole "karma" idea is not even considered.  Ask yourself when the last time was you heard someone say; "well, I was rude to my boss and wouldn't stop speeding, so getting fired and then a ticket on the way home was my karma."  Typically people have every excuse in the book or place blame elsewhere when the "cards aren't falling in their favor."

To me the saddest part of Karma is that even IF I AM the kindest most loving person in the world; and yet have a day where things just go to crap & I lose my computer; karma is not in my favor. Karma is great for nice and positive behaved people. But honestly; it is all works based and we ALL have our moments of ugliness (even if it's in our thoughts. We still have greed, envy, pride, jealousy, lust, you name it) if we were truly repaid for 100% of our life; we'd be in sad sad shape. I bet we'd be bummed that most "good people" got shitty allotments and the bad people got off too easy. You see karma is still based off my performance and we can't convert the outcome! 

We all have our moments. I have my melt downs and I even have times where I probably deserve what came to me because I wasn't being the 'best.' And those moments royally suck.  (Like when you get the speeding ticket because you were in fact speeding;) BUT; for the most part I try to live my life and serve others well.  I try to love well. And I even give back! I want to continue loving people without reserve because it's not about what I will get back (as in so I receive good Karma) but it's honestly because Jesus loved me first. Because HE loves me, AND because HE loves others is why I try to be a decent human being. You see I have a hope beyond my circumstances even when I'm behaving poorly and am blessed; OR when I'm well-behaved and not being blessed. 

With my faith; I know when I pray to Jesus and use Jesus' name out loud there is power in His name! It says in the bible (which I believe is the inherent word of God) there is power to set captives free; the lost will be found; people healed and death can be overcome. (Isa 61:1, Lk 15:32, 1st Cor 15:54) 
So the good news is; Even bad guys have a chance! (Which is not good news for the guy who stole your computer to YOU -- BUT to that guy, it is totally good news!
To the guy who made a poor decision to take $$ from his roommate's wallet; it is. 
To the guy who lusted after his coworkers wife; it is. 
To the girl who gossiped about her coworker to another close colleague; it is!! 

You see, with Jesus, there is unlimited do-overs and unlimited "defeating the odds" of karma with knowing Christ!  So we don't have to worry about "what goes around comes around" because we get the "Get out of jail, FREE" card!  

With my faith in Jesus I know it's not about how I "do or don't do"enough. It's not about my works; and my positive thoughts; but it's all about HIS work and the things he DID and continues to do!!!! 

He pursues us; it doesn't matter how good, bad, or in between we are. And despite losing a computer or even being the one who stole it; we KNOW that at the end of the day God has a bigger plan in it all and there's a chance for everything to be redeemed and restored! When everything is lost we can know that God is in control and ultimately HE is the one who brings around what goes around(with or without merit).

Oh and my computer.... 
While I will never know if the Guy had a moment of "I think I should return this for good karma" thoughts, I DID get it back.  The airport called me the next day as they randomly "found" it in another terminal in the middle of a major airport 12+ hours later.  Preeeeetty sure it was a miracle and not just a case of 'good karma' . . . even my karma believing colleague thought it was pretty miraculous and started to ask questions about my God!! 

In case you're thinking we as believers feel like we are exempt from 'karma' I don't look at it that way and actually think we could learn a lot from our karma practicing friends!  MOST people who REALLY believe and operate under the principles of karma are some of the nicest, warmest, most selfless people I know.  I believe we could be more like them in fact! I also fully believe the peace and love teachings of Christ were addressed in the bible for a reason!  BUT, and I do say "BUT",
it is because it also says "they will know us by our love"(John13:35) and I believe the BEST way to show someone the power and the God we believe in is real is because He first loved us, and THAT IS why we love. We get to live forever because we believe he came to set us free and that's it.
There's nothing we can do to earn this; just receive it. And know ultimately when we believe; whether or not we're GOOD enough... we will get the best in return!!  

How's that for weight off your shoulder?!? 


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