Life often presents us with truth that seems too painful and fierce for us to face. Yet, one of the gifts of truth is to help us see our way clear to confront it. The bad truth is better than a good falsehood.
An old story tells of a desert nomad who awakened hungry in the middle of the night. He lit a candle and began eating dates from a bowl beside his bed. He took a bite from one and saw a worm in it; so he threw it out. He bit into a second date, found another worm, and threw it away also. Reasoning that he wouldn’t have any dates left to eat if he continued, he blew out the candle and quickly ate the rest of the dates.
Many people prefer darkness and denial to the light of reality.
Occasionally, we keep secrets for our own advantage, but other times the sharing of information is too important to keep to ourselves. One Mercedes Benz TV commercial of many years ago shows their car colliding with a cement wall during a safety test.
Someone then asks the company spokesman why they do not enforce their patent on the Mercedes Benz’s energy-absorbing car body, a design evidently copied by other companies because of its success.
He replies matter-of-factly, “Because some things in life are too important not to share.”
How true. In that category also falls the gospel of salvation, which saves people from far more than auto collisions. If you want to hear more of the good news that is too good to keep secret, why don’t you visit one of Arlington’s local churches this Sunday morning? It is for this reason of “too important to keep to ourselves” that I am so excited about how our church may explode with ardor when we begin “Unbinding the Gospel” this fall. Stay tuned and watch God at work.
About 400 years ago, a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a town site. The next year they elected a town government. The third year the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness.
In the fourth year the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?
Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But, in just a few years, they were not able to see even five miles outside of town. They had lost their pioneering vision.
With a clear vision of what we can become, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without it, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries.
FUMC of Arlington seems to be re-kindling its vision of how to be in mission—not only as a One Mile Mission church—but going out into the whole world.