Archive for the ‘diligence’ Category

12:11 Frivolity or Labor?

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Space Invaders

He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.

Years ago, I banned video games from my home and pulled my computer games into the trash, too. Too often they had held me captive longer than they should. I knew first-hand just how addictive they could be and saw how pernicious they were for some young men who lived with us. When they should have been finding work and taking their first steps to success they were instead battling imaginary enemies. Unable to conquer their sins and worthless desires, they fancied themselves conquerors of empires.

We are never shown Jesus indulging in an act of personal amusement. He came to do a job and did it. When his enemies took up stones to kill him he said, “Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?” (John 10:32).

10:5 Summer Son

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

Inside McCormick's blacksmith shop in Virginia.

He who gathers in summer is a wise son: but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.

There was a time in the United States (and much of the rest of the world) when every able-bodied person was needed to get in the harvest. It made no sense to increase acreage in wheat, because the window for reaping was so narrow and the number of hands required to get the crop in was so great. Had any able-bodied farm-boy slept over-late at harvest, he would have been the butt of scorn. As it was, despite the best efforts of farmers, hogs had to be turned into the fields to fatten when the grain became overripe.

Cyrus McCormick changed that by inventing the first machine with the seven essential parts of a true reaper. He was jeered at first and his efforts considered folly because his reaper did not work well on the uneven, hilly ground of his native Virginia. But he persisted, and the US became the breadbasket of the world.

Jesus placed this whole concept on a spiritual level. There are fields of souls waiting for harvest. He commanded his disciples to reap them now and set the example as God’s only begotten son. Will we not be rebuked in the judgment if we have idled our hours and allowed our neighbors to perish without the word of truth?

18:9 Are You a Wrecker?

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

The Hyatt Regency, now known as the Hyatt Regency Crown Center.

The Hyatt Regency was renamed as the Hyatt Regency Crown Center.

One who is slothful in his work is brother to one that is a great destroyer.

We often hear of loss and disaster caused by someone getting careless. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge went down because its engineers built the structure on the cheap. Fortunately, no people lost their lives. At Chernobyl, arrogant engineers built a nuclear plant without rudimentary safety features. Hundreds of thousands of people were affected when the reactor melted down. In Bhopul India, thousands died in a chemical disaster which could have been prevented with elementary precautions and prompt action. At the Hyatt Regency, 114 people died and 200 more were injured owing to faulty engineering.

One does not have to be a terrorist to achieve massive destruction and loss of life. Carelessness, corner cutting, drug use, taking the easy way out—all of these will produce the same results as an anarchist’s bomb.

By contrast, Christ cut no corners. At great expense to himself he did the right thing at the right time. He waited until he was of mature age—until his “time had come”—before plunging into his ministry. Before selecting his twelve disciples, he spent the night in prayer. He waited just the right number of days before returning to Judea to raise Lazarus from death. Such examples could be multiplied. One senses that there was not an unnecessary movement nor a wasted moment in his life.