Friday, February 3, 2012

Shade Tree Wisdom 2/3/12

          It is so warm a jacket is nearly not needed for the morning walk.  While I was walking, I started to think of all the hype about the up-coming Super Bowl next Sunday.  The papers are filled with articles, surmises, facts and guesses.  They even estimate the number of chicken wings that will be eaten, and they seem happy that carrots are ascending the ladder for nibble foods.  And the cost of each 30 seconds for ads is 3.5 million dollars.

          So many words.  And it reminds us of life.  “Careful and troubled about many things”, Jesus said of Martha’s worrying.  Life is like that often.  We get so busy about things that we lose sight of the thing that matters.

          One summer a family we know spent a week in a cottage in northern Michigan.  They had a fine week, sunny and warm, and really enjoyed their stay. Their cottage had a shuffleboard court and the family really enjoyed that. So one day they were having a game before lunch and the mother said she planned to take a book, lie in the orange life raft they had tethered to the dock, and do some reading and relaxing before lunch.

          She settled down, slathered with sunscreen, and started reading.  The water lapping on shore was soothing, and soon she fell asleep.  OK, the family knew where she was and would wake her to lunch.  When she awoke, she found herself in the middle of Grand Traverse Bay. Not tied to the dock.  The knot had come untied.  She was in no real danger because she was a strong swimmer, and as she woke, her husband was already coming to fetch her with their power boat.

          Her experience is what happens to many Christians, they think they are secure, and drift without knowing, maybe enticed by a friend, or excited by some innovation, or just carelessness.  That is why Jesus warns again and again for us to remain strong in the faith.

          St. Paul has this comment: “The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4, 3.4.

          Stick with the Gospel.  “For the grace of God that brings salvation appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age”.  Titus 2, 11.12.  In His great love God warns us always to beware of the false.

GPD 2/3/12

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