Some time ago, a few years ago actually, a friend and I went to a beautifull part of South Africa; the Golden Gate area, part of the Drackensberg mountain range. My friend a short cropped I.T yuppie in his early twenties, me an aging hippy, long hair and beard lacking only the peace medalion.
We went for the week between Christmas and new year, to plan for the upcoming year the marketing of products that we had decided to pool together for weekend trading. The caravan park and camping site where we chose to stay had horse and hiking trails, in the surrounding sandstone mountain areas; the hiking trails included fossilised sites as well as alcoves with San rock art, George was also scared of horses so we took the hiking trails.
The first morning before we set off I noticed he was filling bottles of water from a tap and putting them into a shoulder bag, he saw me watching him,he asked me where was my water, I pointed to the mountains. George made it clear if I wasnt going to take water I would just have to suffer the consequence of my actions.
We set off in the direction of the trail markers and followed them across a river; I pointed out the the pump station by the river and the pipe leading up to the camping site. We carried on with the trail, which meandered across small streams and next several pools of water, which was being filtered through the sand stone rocks, we stopped at one them which was shaded by trees, I bent over drinking from cupped hands, though mid summer, the water was refreshingly ice cold; George tasted it, promptly emptied his bottles of tepid water, complaining about his excess baggage, when he could get direct from the source.
The last couple of days phoning around the country,tracking down people that I needed to seek forgiveness from, I thought about George and the water, and how I weigh myself down with excess baggage in my quiet time and prayer, seeking that forgiveness and getting it from some, others a continuance of their bitterness, and how the world did them in. The ones who forgave are leading prosperous and blessed full lives, the ones who are bitter, exactly where they were 15/20 years ago; the ones who forgave felt they didnt have to forgive me for anything, but forgave and were happy to hear from me. The bitter ones a sense of entitlement and that I owed them big time.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,whatever you bind on earth,shall be bound in heaven,whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
From a practical stand point is bitterness worth it?