Faint Memories. Thundering Echoes.
It was the spring of 1970. I'd been invited by my mentor, Charlie Spicer, to take part in a group of 12, desiring to receive training on how to be more obedient to God in our lives. The Course was called "Shamgar", named after the son of Anath, mentioned in Judges 3:31.
It seems Shamgar had slain 600 Philistines with an oxgoad, basically a pointed stick, and the Bible says that he, too, delivered Israel. The idea was to train us, as businessmen, teachers, contractors, to use whatever we had in our hands, in God's work. To slay some modern-day Philistines, as it were.
We went away to a Campground in Southern Indiana, one weekend a month. On the third weekend .. April, 1970 .. we had a directed study in which we were given ordinary words, and told to look at them with Spiritual eyes. My word was "Engineer".
I went to a cabin and sat on the steps, overlooking a beautiful valley. I could hear cows and churchbells in the distance. After taking it all in, I looked at the word and began to write. The following is, verbatim, what I wrote that Sunday morning.
No appreciation .. detachment
I see no part of what man has done that I wouldn't change
All man's works have added not one bit. Even the fantastic cathedrals"
"Birds - Dove - Crow - Bluejay - 9 other identifiable
Terrain - birds flying - Trees - leaves - purple bushes - grass - flowers
Appreciation - Blue Sky -
Sunlight - Surely God is close.
Sound of bells. Breeze - Invigorating
The Master Engineer"
"Why would this be beautiful - invigorating - inspiring - except that God made us and chose us-------"
- Receives education
- Places himself in a service situation
- accumulates data on the existing situation
- Accumulates data on the desired product, relative to its purpose and its performance
- Analyzes and prescribes procedures - computer utilization - necessary to assure the product's compliance with standards
- Today's professional standards require him to follow through and insure that procedures are followed and that the product will meet standards and can be used for the job
- Receives spiritual food from God's word and meditation
- Offers his whole self to God's service
- Sizes up spiritual conditions - personal - community, etc -
- Compares them with God's plan for the community and the individual
- Analyzes - using God' s computer - The Holy Spirit - the necessary procedures to attain the gal - education, prayer, witnessing
- Follows up . he gives God his legs, etc."
"I feel like writing.
I am consumed by the absolute beauty, harmony, and peace of God's Kingdom in nature. The trees - birds - flowers - sun - sky - terrain - leaves - obviously planned by the absolute Master.
I am startled to realize that I appreciate this. That it gets down inside me and consumes, engrosses, pulls, enraptures, and amazes me.
I feel disgust for what natural man does because I see no evidence of what man has done, that doesn't need re-doing, revision, upkeep, or removal. The air becomes polluted because of man's misdirected attempts to "better" himself. The steps on which I sit need paint and are neither level nor comfortable (though that's not really relevant). Building sag, door's won't close, paint peels, pavement crumbles, all need removal, repair, replacement etc.
God's life goes on, inter-reacts - inter-feeding - reproducing. It is glorious.
3 years ago nature did nothing for me. I was Hot Rod Magazine, Slot Racing, movies, concrete pavement, Room additions.
2 things are necessary for me to feel so engrossed by what God has done ---
- I am a product of God. His design.
- HE has chosen to awaken me. Oh, God.......
Oh God, may I always be this close to You."
"THE BIBLE FALLS OPEN TO REV. 2:19. "I KNOW YOUR WORKS; YOUR LOVE, AND FAITH AND SERVICE AND PATIENT ENDURANCE. AND THAT YOUR LATTER WORKS EXCEED THE FIRST."
"OF COURSE - LOVE & FAITH ARE GIFTS --- SERVICE AND ENDURANCE ARE WHAT WE DO WITH THEM.
39 years later, I am still amazed. Now more than ever.