Vol.XVIII No.IV Pg.8
June 1981

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

We have been "on the road" again, and have a pocket full of notes for "Stuff About Things." From a prayer at the close of a service: "We thank thee Lord, that you gave this man a ready recollection." Now a "ready recollection" is often requested, but how many times have you heard some one thank God for answering their prayer? Then, one fellow asked, "Lord, help us take advantage of the elders." I suppose that could mean advantage of opportunities their wisdom and efforts afforded, but the words were a bit startling. Trite and mechanical repetitions are common in many public prayers. I prefer to encourage uninhibited expressions of the heart to God, even if inexperienced speakers do make unusual statements. I believe God reads the heart.

We heard of a preacher who absentmindedly ran his hand beneath the cushion of his host's divan and felt a magazine there. Thinking only to put the publication on the table, he brought forth, before several guests and an embarrassed host — PLAYBOY!

The best heart warmer to come from this trip is another of those "favorite scripture" stories. A hard working charwoman was asked how she could maintain such a wonderful outlook on life. She said she just remembered her favorite Bible passage, "It came to pass." She explained, "If it had said, 'It came to stay' life would be hard. But since it will pass I can be patient and wait for better times."

We can't fault her principle, even though she used the wrong scripture for it. At that, she beat lots of better educated people who miss both the scripture and the principle.

Shelley wrote of the shattered statue of a forgotten king, half buried beside a pedestal which boasted: "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" And then, "Nothing beside remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away." Yes, and this too shall pass!

We are pilgrims and sojourners in this life — we "came to pass!" Remembering this, we should not only "run with patience (endurance)" but "look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:1-2).