Author Robert Fulghum tells this story of one of his professors, a wise man whose name was Alexander Papaderos:
At the last session on the last morning of a two week seminar on Greek culture, Dr. Papaderos turned and made the ritual gesture: "Are there any questions?"
Quiet quilted the room. These two weeks had generated enough questions for a lifetime, but for now, there was only silence.
"No questions?" Papaderos swept the room with his eyes. So, I asked, "Dr. Papaderos, what is the meaning of life?"
The usual laughter followed, and people stirred to go.
Papaderos held up his hand and stilled the room and looked at me for a long time, asking with his eyes if I was serious and seeing from my eyes that I was.
"I will answer your question."
Taking his wallet out of his hip pocket, he fished into a leather billfold and brought out a very small round mirror, about the size of a quarter. And what he said went something like this:
"When I was a small child, during the war, we were very poor and we lived in a remote village. One day, on the road, I found the broken pieces of a mirror. A German motorcycle had been wrecked in that place.
"I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept only the largest piece. This one. And by scratching it on a stone, I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine in deep holes and crevices and dark closets. It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places I could find.
"I kept the little mirror, and as I went about my growing up, I would take it out in idle moments and continue the challenge of the game.
As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game but a metaphor for what I might do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of light. But light truth, understanding, knowledge is there, and it will only shine in many dark places if I reflect it.
"I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have I can reflect light into the dark...Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
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