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Don’t be surprised
While talking with my neighbor the other day, I was surprised when he told me he had encountered a baby rattler in his yard. You ask why I should be surprised, when, after all, South Texas is their natural habitat.
Well, I have always believed that old wives tale about cats and the lack of snakes and other critters being around because of their presence. With all the cats roaming our neighborhood, I would have thought there wouldn’t be any snakes around; so much for that myth. Lazy cats!
His mention of snakes brought to mind an incident of mine in the early ’70s. I had been working on the engine of a one-and-a-half ton farm truck for three days and finally got it running again. With lots of other jobs to get to, I backed it out of the garage to warm up so I could then top off the fluid levels making it ready for delivery.
As it idled, I was cleaning the shop floor and glanced back at the truck to see a huge brown snake making its way out of the engine compartment over the front bumper of the truck to the ground. I guess the temperature was getting a little uncomfortable for the snake and it wanted out.
Well, I have no use for snakes, but several other employees couldn’t wait to torment the poor thing. Someone said it was a harmless “chicken snake” but that didn’t save its life. After the hoopla was over I finished my to-do’s and went for a test drive with the truck. Upon my return, I visited the restroom and at my exit I encountered the big brown snake draped over the doorknob.
After the shock wore off and after getting the door open, touching as little of the snake as possible, I find the other guys huddled in the corner looking for my reaction. Well, I did better than they had expected and I reminded them that we have one female employee but only one restroom.
I guess you know what happened. She about tore the walls down trying to get out of that restroom. I never heard such a noise before. After her release, she stomped out of the building, got in her car, and we didn’t see her for two days. She accepted the apologies from all of those involved even though they were delivered to her with some giggling.
A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question. The driver shrieked out a horrible scream, lost control of the car, and stopped just short of hitting a utility pole. “You scared the daylights out of me!” he said. “I’m sorry,” said the passenger, “I didn’t realize a tap on the shoulder would scare you in that way.”
After collecting his thoughts, the taxi driver explained his reaction. “It’s not your fault,” the driver began. “Today is my very first day as a taxi cab driver. You see, for 25 years I’ve been driving a van for a funeral home.”
[1 Thessalonians 4: 13 -- 5: 11; 1 Peter 4: 12-19 & 1 John 3: 11-24] Paul, Peter, and John express to us in their letters that there are things that should not surprise us as a Christian. The coming of the Lord should not surprise us like a thief in the night. In fact we should be looking for His coming.
If as a Christian we are truly living for God, we should not be surprised at the painful trials that we suffer or that we are hated by the world. As a Christian, we are no longer in the dark as to the will of God for our lives in the body. We are to teach the truth found in God’s Word in love to a sick and dying world. It’s hard to overlook the sin and love the sinner, but teaching the sinner the truth, exposing their errant way in the sight of God, is our duty.
Rejection hurts, and don’t be surprised when the sinner strikes at you. Jesus has already saved your 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.
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