Friday, August 26, 2016

"When any fit of gloominess, or perversion of mind, lays hold upon you, make it a rule not to publish it by complaints." ~ Samuel Johnson, (1709-1784), made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.

It's Friday, August 26, 2016, and it's hard to think that I've already made a full work-week after spending 10 days away from my home away from home. I bring you greetings from my little corner of the world to wherever you happen to be. I recently watched a video presentation on Facebook from a young pastor who gave his thoughts regarding the biblical view regarding the believer's relationship with government. He shared all the pertinent verses that show God's sovereign influence in how governments are formed, changed, and new ones come into being. He talked at length about the dialogue Jesus had about paying tribute to Caesar. Here's the text as presented in the Gospel of Mark, "They came and said to Him, 'Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? Shall we pay or shall we not pay?' But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, 'Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.' They brought one. And He said to them, 'Whose likeness and inscription is this?' And they said to Him, 'Caesar's.' And Jesus said to them, 'Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.' And they were amazed at Him." (Chapter 12:14-17, from the NASB) I'm very familiar with the variety of passages he shared, however, he went on to talk about the exceptions, those being when government directly attempts to force one to violate the clear and express will of God. Got it. But, he wasn't finished. He quoted from another commentator in saying that when we complain all the time about our government we set ourselves up to potentially commit two different sins. One has to do with presenting claims that deny God's sovereign control over all things including the affairs of government. The second is when our complaining encourages others to follow suit. That hit me pretty hard. I'm still digesting it. I do know that I typically always add the disclaimer about knowing God is in control, but, I may need to think some about the potential for developing a complaining spirit. Food for thought. Maybe just for me. Just sharing. (One of the telling things about the New Testament texts has to do with the well-known corruption and abuse that helped define Roman rule. This is the government referred to in passages that say we must obey the laws and pay our taxes.)

Having delivered my sermon, maybe I should set up a GoFundMe account where people can make donations. You know. Receive an offering. Just so you know, that was not my intention. I've learned when something hits me, it might just have something to say to others. That's why I put together that first paragraph. Time to move on. I'll try to tell this next little story as sharing facts, not so much one where I am complaining. You think what? I could be on shaky ground playing word games? Good point. Here's the deal. They are doing it again. This past Wednesday I was up a little earlier than my usual early get up and go time and I made my way onto the main roadway that I travel each morning. It was 3:30 a.m. Not a car was stirring, not even a Mazda. (Think: Creature stirring, not even a mouse.) In other words, the roadway was empty. That should have made it a very easy commute. Right? Just hang on Bucko while I give you the straight scoop. I caught every light. Me, myself, and I sitting there. Waiting. Right turn. Left turn. All directions. Me. Waiting. Some of you are probably thinking I could have used that time to reflect upon the greater issues of life instead of being slightly agitated. Every light? Give me a break! Truth is, I ended up sitting at my workstation at 4:05 instead of my anticipated 4 a.m. You might recall that according to the article I shared earlier this week, the 4 a.m. hour is considered the most productive hour of the day. For some. Sorry, this paragraph didn't live up to that billing.

One guy on Twitter said he hated his job because the people there were so dumb. He said he watched a new lady water an artificial plant for three months and is still too stunned to tell her. Another lady wondered out loud whether she could demand a trial by combat instead of the job she has. When asked what the best thing was about his job, one guy said the only thing he could think of was that his chair swiveled. This next one was morbid indeed. This fellow said that if he died and went to hell, it would probably take him a week to realize he wasn't at work anymore. Another commenter said she hoped they knew that just because she showed up today didn't mean she intended to do any work. Interestingly enough, the sounding boards where people tell why they hate their jobs typically have been invaded by people who wish they had a job. These folks tell those haters they would love to change places with them because they are desperate to find work. Let me go on record as saying that I don't know that I would ever use the word love in describing a job, I am, however, most thankful and feel blessed to have a job, a place to come and make contributions, and I know that while there are days when things may not go as I might want them to go, I come away with a sense of God's provision for my life. And, to underline the point, we have people walk into our workplace many days who say they are willing to do anything, even at the lowest level, to try and help support themselves and their families. I thought that might be a good way to end our week together by highlighting what it means to have a thankful heart. It is good for whatever ails us. Take care. Enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and I will do my best to catch back up with you come next Monday. Amen. .....More later.

No comments: