A 362 Year Old Present That Changed ...
... a lot of things in my life. Here's why:
We were in London on business .. Peg and I .. in early May, 1989. We looked up Baptist churches to go to on Sunday, as we'd just joined an SBC church a few years before. And, we also figured that Presbyterian Churches in London would probably be really dry.
The closest one we could find, by chance near a Tube Stop and not too far from our hotel (or Harrod's) was Bethesda Baptist Church. So we hopped on a subway and went there Sunday morning, which just happened to be their 175th anniversary.
Their goal for the day was 175 in attendance, which they made. Now, the church and its layout were an interesting topic in itself, as was the pastor (American) and the guest preacher for the occasion, his father (Florida resident). But the part of the deal that really zeroed in on me was the page, out of an old Bible, that they gave to me. It seems the Bible had come completely apart, having been printed in 1627, and they wanted those attending their special day to have a remembrance of the occasion.
I didn't really expect something from Leviticus, but that's what I got. And I was OK with it until we'd had lunch, visited Harrod's, and took the tube back to the hotel. That's when I read the page. Or, more correctly, Verse 32, which says we're to rise up in honor before the white head, and honor the face of the old man. At least, in the then-New King James version.
And here I was, using Grecian Formula to keep my hair brown (what of it I had left), and some man-stuff on my mustache. I suddenly got quite convicted about that, and when I got back home, I threw out my nearly new bottle of Grecian Formula, and that other stuff, and told God I was sorry but I didn't know any better.
That simple incident was probably the first real life-changing decision I made in obedience to scripture. I'd been raised as a good kid, never stole, etc, but here was something that was fine with the world, but I knew I couldn't do any more.
I mean .. the Holy Spirit doesn't have to do a lot of conviction in a couple of areas, at least, when you were raised with a mindset of sanctity of marriage, an attitude that lying or stealing were simply wrong, and that we were to treat others with respect and dignity. Simply because those things were "right to do".
We were going through this huge pile of papers out of a old filing cabinet we don't need any more, and shredding most of the stuff therein (or throwing it away). But this little folder, containing this page .. really from the Bible, not a copy .. and a copy of the cover page of the Bible, and a certificate of authenticity .. went in the "Save Stack".
I'm not ever going to discard this. I'll leave it to my wife or kids, It's been too important, to me, not to.