Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I've had two losses in the last twelve days.
While they may seem tritely self-absorbing to you, they triggered confession and repentance for me.
Yes, He works in mysterious ways.
If it wasn't enough for me to fork over big $ producing annoying hassles to fly from Chicago to Wilkes-Barre to satiate the prejudices of my mom against me riding Return2 over the river and through the woods to..., I trimmed my facial hair just a few days before departure.
You know the yarmulke deal?
If not, ain't no way you're gonna get the abridged Numbers 6 one.
Let's just say I'm still into personally subdued displays of devotion concomitant to Matthew 6.
I'll explain if asked.
If not, not.
Of course, it will grow back.
Pastor Peers' wife gave it to me about 49 years ago: "Presented to Bobby Kopp by Junior Fellowship of First Presbyterian Church of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania on May 18, 1964."
I took it to college, Heidelberg, Geneva, Rome, seminary, Israel, Egypt, Syria, England, Scotland, and...
I've always kept it on my desk or in my briefcase or knapsack but never out of reach or eyesight.
Zippered KJV Bible.
I thought I left it where I always leave it when not taking it with me - top of the pile of Bibles minus the one that I always take with me if not taking it.
I haven't seen it since getting back.
Of course, except for a comb lost near Hebron and specs lost in Edinburgh, misplaced stuff has always shown up sooner or later.
Maybe my zippered KJV Bible will pop up.
Despite being a little heartsick about 'em for reasons requiring interrogatives for declaratives, I didn't carry on too much about the losses reflected in the mirror and on my desk.
I didn't curse, cry, banter, or moan.
O.K., I moaned a bit.
That's probably because I've been scratching the surface of my relationship with the Lord by reading the Bible and praying more than preaching/teaching/writing about or pretending to be reading the Bible and praying.
I recall the pastor who was as old as I am now who said this to me when I was too young to accept a church's not God's call to be their pastor too many years before I was remotely ready which I did anyway much to everyone's eventual dismay: "You're known as a man of prayer. So I'm sure our Lord will tell you what to do if you pray about it."
I remember thinking, "Well, yeah, I know I'm known as a man of prayer and have preached and taught and even written a non-bestseller about prayer; but God knows I don't actually pray as much as I preach, teach, and write about it."
So I took the job much to everyone's eventual dismay.
Buuuuuuut now that I'm actually reading the Bible and praying more than preaching, teaching, and writing about it, I'm starting to experience/express some of the proof of practicing more than professing/pretending it that Paul talked about in Galatians 5; which came in handy when I lost sooooooo/tooooooo much of my facial hair and my zippered KJV Bible.
God knows I know He knows I've got a long way to go - I'm just scratching the surface of my relationship with Him via Bible reading and prayer after years of professing/pretending more than I was experiencing/expressing - buuuuuuut to horrify the grammar police who care more about jots and tittles than saving souls, I'm trying to be more better than before when I was more worse while pretending to be more better.
The point is nobody has to sweat the small stuff like lost stuff if we're taking care of the big stuff like our personal relationship with Him that is enabled by reading the Bible and praying a heaven of a lot more than preaching, teaching, and writing about reading the Bible and praying.
BTW, about three hours after writing the preceding, our custodian Murph found my zippered KJV Bible on top of the piano in the choir room.
I left it there after praying with the choir less than 24 hours before getting on the plane for Wilkes-Barre.
Maybe I'll buy a plane ticket for Murph to Hebron and Edinburgh.
Or maybe I'll prepare for my next losses by...
Blessings and Love!