Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Going Nowhere... With A Purpose

My wife and I have had a theme song since the early days of our marriage – Two of Us Going Nowhere by the Beatles.  We love to just wander.  When we get the chance we’ll point the car in one direction or another and see what’s out there.  A summer ago, we found ourselves in the Blairstown, Missouri business district which featured a closed general store, a GAS-BEER-MINNOWS outlet, and a gun store.  We went to the gun store. 

After shopping a few moments and calculating this was not the day to invest in a 30.06, we sauntered out.  On the way out of the store, the kindly lad who we’d been yacking with said something that I didn't clearly understand.  We got outside and my wife asked me what I heard.  "I don't know," I said, "it almost sounded like he said 'We love you.'"  "That's what I thought I heard", she replied.

I’ve always heard of country hospitality, but I found this Missourian “Aloha” a tad odd.  We were in a gun store for crying out loud, not Precious Moments.  When I hear “I love you” from someone other than my wife or kids, my mind kicks into Skeptical gear.

Made me think of another awkward retail situation.  Back on Dec 15, 2011, I posted the “Attaboy” article.  In it, I mentioned a great fellow, David Griffin.  In the mid-80s, David was an up-and-coming artist in Dallas.  He got the chance to be included in a gallery that showcased his work very well.  Only problem was, the gallery was run by the Moonies (a cult of Christianity rife with theological and financial error).  When I got back in touch with David after 25 years, that gallery was still on his mind:
As a side note I must say to you my involvement with the gallery run by the" Moonies" was a big embarrassment. I guess when you're young, naive and desperate you'll believe almost anything. After I found out I did confront them with it and they just danced around a confession, I pulled out of the gallery that day. You didn't ask I just felt the need to confess my mistake.
So what’s the connection between the gun store in Blairstown and David’s gallery.  Let me tie this up with a couple words from our Sponsor:
Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.  (Matthew 10:16)
 Flee immorality. (I Corinthians 6:18)
“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. (II Corinthians 6:17)
Followers of Jesus live in a crazy, mixed up world (with crazy, mixed up people – some of whom are us!).  But we are not to become so mixed in with that world that there is no difference between them and us.  I’m not saying the gun store folks were Moonies or had some ulterior motive, but they sure made my spidey-sense tingle.  David admits he got flim-flammed, and frankly, I love the fact that, to this day, David is still agitated about that brief period of time that he found himself on the shady side of the street.  It says his conscience is in good working order.

Followers of Jesus follow Him toward righteousness.  NO!  I am not saying we put up an 8’ privacy fence and ignore the world.  Read this post and remember that we’re on a mission and we’re going to get our hands dirty – but we don’t have to get our hearts dirty.  Do you know the difference?

Followers of Jesus, even if you’re “going nowhere”, you’re on the mission field.  Like wolves and snakes, keep your eyes open – be shrewd about where you go and how.  Like lambs and doves, be innocent – don’t eat what the wolf eats and don’t sleep where the snake sleeps.  Be separate. 

And if you don’t mind getting your infantry on at a store that has that nice Precious Moments vibe, I can hook you up.

Clark H Smith

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