Thursday, March 05, 2009

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.

"ENGINEER:

Credentials: Degree
Man's science
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
Cool------------
The Master Engineer"

"Why would this be beautiful - invigorating - inspiring - except that God made us and chose us-------"

"An engineer:
  1. Receives education
  2. Places himself in a service situation
  3. accumulates data on the existing situation
  4. Accumulates data on the desired product, relative to its purpose and its performance
  5. Analyzes and prescribes procedures - computer utilization - necessary to assure the product's compliance with standards
  6. 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
A Christian:
  1. Receives spiritual food from God's word and meditation
  2. Offers his whole self to God's service
  3. Sizes up spiritual conditions - personal - community, etc -
  4. Compares them with God's plan for the community and the individual
  5. Analyzes - using God' s computer - The Holy Spirit - the necessary procedures to attain the gal - education, prayer, witnessing
  6. 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 ---

  1. I am a product of God. His design.
  2. HE has chosen to awaken me. Oh, God.......
I hope I can live up to what God has for me. I pray for the strength, guidance, love ----

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.

PRAISE GOD.

LET'S GO!"


39 years later, I am still amazed. Now more than ever.

5 Comments:

At 1:46 PM, March 11, 2009, Blogger Bernard Shuford said...

As an engineer by trade, this is intriguing.

I do confess, though, that I think you've got some good points here, but I somehow miss "the point". :)

 
At 9:23 AM, March 19, 2009, Blogger Ramsey said...

your blog caught my eye and gives me pause to ponder. would you mind if i add you as a friend so i don't have to look in my lengthy list of bookmarks?

 
At 10:04 AM, March 19, 2009, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Bernard: Not really a point here, it's just what I wrote all those years ago. And a testimony to God's faithfulness.

Ramsey: I don't think I know what adding as a friend is, in Bloggerspeak, but it sounds ok.

 
At 9:55 PM, March 19, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob...no post for awhile...hope you ar ok...and that all treatment is going as planned and hoped for.
!
Ron

 
At 10:16 PM, March 19, 2009, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Ron,

As it happens, I just told Peg it'd been 2 weeks, and I'd better get on the stick. And I started writing a post about this eternal submission of the Son deal. It's half done and it'll be up tomorrow.

Radiation treatments over. Strength, interest, etc back. Got a CPAP machine today, so my O2 level shouldn't go down to 40 every night (did a study Tuesday night, and it did, then).

Thanks. You have encouraged me.

 

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