It's OK, Because He Knows About It
Peggy and I visited with our family doctor today, for some routine 6-month followup for some bloodwork. And not just bloodwork, but fasting bloodwork.
Cleveland interpretation: fasting bloodwork is the test that give you an excuse to go eat Cheese Blintzes at IHOP, afterwards.
Everything was fine, and I took the opportunity to ask the doctor about a couple other problems that have cropped up recently. One of those was sleeping; he took care of that. Another was stuffy nose, which he addressed via a prescription.
The last problem, which arose in the past week, is best left undescribed (in case men, women, children, boys, or girls happen to read this). But it was of some concern. So, Doctor Tom and I talked it over, he examined the shall we say affected area, and said it wasn't a problem.
Peg asked me about it as we drove in the direction of the Cheese Blintzes, and I recounted the story. Then I said I felt OK with it, and said "It's OK, because he knows about it".
Hmmm ... hmmm ... it's OK, because he knows about it.
That got me to thinking .. shouldn't things be OK with me, because my Heavenly Father knows about it? I've got arthritis in my right knee and ankle, I've had prostate cancer that got out into a lymph node, we're living on Social Security and have a decent retirement nest egg but who knows what's going to happen to the economy or health care or oil prices, Peg's had breast cancer several times, and the list goes on. And on.
Do I think God doesn't know about any of these things? No. Do I think He intends harm for me? No. If that's the case, should I worry about any of those things? No.
And that flash of thought brought me to all that's going on in the SBC. Does He know what the GCRTF is up to? Yes. Does He know what their decisions are going to be? Yes. Does He know what we of the SBC, assembled in Orlando, are going to vote on, and how we're going to vote? Yes.
God, in more than one place, tells us that He orders the steps and even the thoughts of those whose works are committed fully to Him. Hence, all we need to do, as believers, and as members of the SBC, is to walk in the light He gives us, and in faithfulness to Him.
Which brings up a question in my mind. Since none of us lives in a vacuum, we're going to have to interact with people around us. Including some who don't agree with us. When that happens, do we think God doesn't know about it? I doubt we think that, and if God knows about those things, then what cause do I have to be upset?
None, that's what.
So why would there ever be vitriol, name-calling, sarcasm, and the like, stuff I see so much of in Blogdom? Maybe it's because, when someone disagrees with us, we think there's a chance they're right and we're wrong. So, we get all defensive. And loud. But if we're in tune with God, and He knows, what's to be upset about? What's to fear?
Said all that to say that God instructed us to be united. To be one, even as He and His Father are One. And He didn't say that we were just supposed to pick out somebody to be in unity with ... we're to strive for unity with all believers. Yet, as Nathan Finn pointed out some days ago on his blog, there are folks on the "sprinkling" side debating with the folks on the "immersion" side over whether the other is really a church at all!
I can't help but think that kind of thing sickens God.
In my personal case, I sure don't have a problem with either side of that debate, as I've been a Presbyterian and a Baptist. And also a Methodist, and I never left any denomination over what they believed.
For the record, I am now a Baptist by conviction, and do not intend to change. But if God tells us to go labor in some other vineyard, we'll sure do that!
The photograph above is that of the procession of the hearse carrying the remains of Pelham Police Officer Philip Davis ... killed in the line of duty last week ... from the funeral home, to the Church at Brook Hills, for his viewing 12/7/2009, and his subsequent funeral 12/8/2009. En route, they detoured past the Pelham Police Headquarters ... just off camera to the left ... which also took them past the Pelham Fire Department Headquarters. The men seen saluting in the photograph are the on-duty members of the Pelham Fire Department, paying their respects. Despite the differences, in may ways, between Policemen and Firefighters, the differences were all lost in the moment of respect caught in the picture from the Birmingham News.
Additionally, mid-day today, there weren't any Pelham Police units visible in the city; they were all at the funeral, which was some miles distant. But, in their place, were at least five cars from Hoover, the city immediately adjoining Pelham to the north. They were filling in for the Pelham Police, who were at the funeral. This was despite the fact that Pelham and Hoover may handle their duties differently. Pelham and Hoover may have different standards for speed limits, stop signs, standards for when to be lenient and when to be strict.
Edit Note: We ran into our son, Brian, at lunch today, Thursday the 10th. He told me that Hoover Police Personnel began covering Pelham at 6:00 p.m. Monday, the day of the viewing of Officer Davis, and covered the entire City until 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, the day after the funeral. The entire Pelham Police force was free to attend the viewing, the funeral, and tend to the family until the morning following. We also learned that there were over 500 cars in the procession, including Police from as far away as Dallas, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. My, my, how much we can learn from them....
I'd hope that the SBC might demonstrate such a cooperative spirit and willingness to work for the benefit of others. I'd hope that differences, in matters which are seemingly minor, might be set aside as easily as was shown over the past few days, right in our back yard.
The really strange thing is that I don't think the law requires such a spirit among public entities. Nothing forced the Fire Department or the City of Hoover to do what was done. But they did it, regardless.
As opposed to that, the Bible commands believers to have ... to cultivate ... to strive for ... a Spirit of unity. And to love one another as Christ loves us. Sadly, I see less of that within the SBC, than I believe God had in mind.
Some people in our midst are Calvinists. More, aren't. Some people favor closed communion, some don't. Some people speak in unknown tongues, some don't. Some people (fill in the blank...), and others don't. Yet, despite the fact that God knows about all those things, and despite the fact that our imperfect, sin-blurred knowledge of all things Holy dooms us to miss the mark here or there, too many folks act as if they're right about everything they believe, and anybody who disagrees with them, is wrong. And that causes goodness-knows-how-much division. And disunity.
The Bible tells me nobody, but nobody, names Jesus as Savior and Lord, but by the Holy Spirit. If you do that, you're my brother (or sister).
Do we have differences? Sure. But it's OK that we do.
It's OK because He knows about it. I'm all for letting Him handle it, and just being about His work down here.