Friday, September 8, 2017

Pastor's Column

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                   Doing It My Way

     I like to do things my way.  I like to eat my cereal with a tablespoon not a teaspoon like I did as a kid.  I like the routines I create when I mow the grass.  When I clean the bathrooms, I have a routine and like to use certain cleaners.  I like having a schedule that goes just right each week.  Through the years, when I get up in the morning and go to bed, I create routines I like.  I like to do it my way.
     The lion liked things his way, too.  One day he met a monkey in the jungle.  The lion pounced on the poor monkey and asked, “Who is the king of the jungle?”  The scared monkey replied, “You are, O mighty lion.”  So the lion let him go.  The next animal the lion met was the zebra.  He pounced on it at once and asked, “Who is the king of the jungle?”  Like the monkey, the zebra replied, “You, O mighty lion!”  So the lion let him go, too.  Next, he came across an elephant and the lion leaped at the elephant’s face and roared again, “Who is the king of the jungle?”  The elephant whipped his trunk around and wrapped the lion’s leg.  He then twirled the lion around and flung him about 50 feet.  The lion slowly picked himself up and huffed, “Just because you don’t know the answer is no reason to get so rough!”
     In 2 Kings 5, we find the story of a general named Naaman who liked things his way, too.  Most generals do!  As general over the armies of Aram, he knew he had plenty of power and knew how to get things done….but Naaman had a flaw.  He was a leper and his leprosy was taking its toll on his health.  From a slave girl , he learned about the prophet Elisha in Israel and so Naaman journeyed to find the prophet and seek healing.  When he arrived at Elisha’s house, the prophet’s servant came out and told Naaman to go to the river Jordan and wash seven times and he would be healed.
     But Naaman wanted more!  This was not good enough!  Where is the prophet? He wanted a show and rituals!  He wanted signs and wonders!  He did not want to take a bath in that nasty river!
     But even so....“His servants went over to him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something difficult, you would have done it.  So why don't you do what he said?  Go wash and be cured.”  Naaman walked down to the Jordan; he waded out into the water and stooped down in it seven times, just as Elisha had told him.  At once, he was cured, and his skin became as smooth as a child's. Naaman and his officials went back to Elisha. Naaman stood in front of him and announced, “Now I know that the God of Israel is the only God in the whole world.” (2 Kings 5:13-15)
     Brothers and sisters, do not be confused and led astray by the temptations of what you think God ought to be doing.  Even an imperfect church can point the way to a perfect Jesus!  God’s ways are for our best and not always does this mean we will be comfortable or our pride will get soothed.  And yet, when we listen and humble ourselves, what we find is faith, hope, and love growing ever more real and our lives reflecting Jesus Christ all the more each day!

Loving Life,