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On the Road to Forever
February 15, 2012 | 1,817 views | Post a comment
I have two pecan trees in my yard and over the years I’ve enjoyed several pounds of fresh nuts throughout the winter months. The two trees are never equal in quantity or quality of their fruit. One tree is a “native” type which produces lots of fruit but very small in size with a shell like granite. With patience, one can extract the nutmeat which is very flavorful, but one could also be expending more energy than the reward is worth. The other tree, on the other hand, was grafted as a pup with, what I’ve been told, is a walnut tree. The quantity of fruit from this tree doesn’t compare with its neighbor, but the quality is totally different. The nut is larger and the shell is much easier to crack to extract the pulpier meat inside. Oddly enough, the two obviously different nuts on the outside, taste the same. Now, if you’ve ever sat watching television, cracking and peeling pecans, and eating them fresh out of the shell, you’ve also gotten that wickedly bitter membrane that grows in the middle of the nut in your mouth. Yuk! Pt-to-wee!! I know that nasty bitter slice of inedible material is there, yet I inevitably let some slip by because I’m not paying close enough attention to what I’m doing. When the senses alert the brain of the intruding bitterness, the reaction is, “Spit it out! Spit it out!” Self-preservation is immediate and swift.
There’s a fellow who lives just down the road and he’s just about the smartest person I’ve ever known. He figured out that brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever. He also has studied a lot about time. He says that in just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday. This guy is also generous with good advice. Just the other day I overheard him tell a neighbor, “If it ain’t broke, fix it till it is.” I’ve had a question in my mind for a long time and I think he’s just the man who can come up with the answer. I’m confident that he can tell me what disease cured ham had.
Some people exercise about as much tact as the young preacher at his first funeral. Being very nervous and not knowing how to begin, he pointed to the casket and blurted out, “What you see there is nothing but an empty shell ... the nut is gone.”
Youngsters have a way of expressing their feelings and confessing their faults that we seem to lose with age. One wrote: “Dear God, I bet it’s very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it.” It seems when we are unlovable we always want to blame someone else.
(James 3:13-18) “... I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:31-33). I still have a problem with running my mouth before engaging my brain, which can lead to saying things I immediately regret, leaving a super bitter taste in my mouth. The spiritual senses immediately alert the brain, but the brain says, “Oops! Sorry, but we can’t take that back or spit it out to cover it up or blame someone else. You’ll have to go to a higher power.” We say and do things we know aren’t right and we shouldn’t do, but because we aren’t paying attention and relying on the wisdom of God, we trip over our worldly tongues. But, because we can find ways to smooth over the blunders and we don’t feel physically threatened, our worldly brain dismisses the bitter taste and moves on. The guilt is not so easily dismissed. Spiritually, we’re unsettled. We have not been wise in our relationship with others. I thank God I have forgiveness in prayer through Jesus my Lord and my spirit is preserved for eternal life.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.