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Chewing Tobacco and Prayer
by Ron Mears
07/05/11
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Chewing Tobacco and Prayer



When I was a little boy I would often help Grandpa tend his garden (actually he’d be working, I was doing more playing). I remember that this old black man would come along the dirt road riding a farm cart pulled by a mule. He would stop by the road and Grandpa and I would walk out to talk to him. Grandpa would always give him a few vegetables from the garden. I wish I could remember his name now but that has escaped me.
I do remember though that he claimed to be over eighty years old and had never been sick a single day in his life, not even a head cold. One day Grandpa asked him what was his secret of good health. I will never forget his answer. He was adamant, “Chewing tobacco and prayer were the secrets to good health”. Grandpa was a little skeptical about the chewing tobacco but he was quick to agree on the prayer.
We have a tendency to focus so strongly on this physical life but give very little thought to the concept of eternal life. I think that is because, like chewing tobacco, physical life is tangible, something we can feel. It’s very real.
Eternal life is harder to conceptualize. It is not of this dimension. We can’t touch it so we deny it’s existence. We worry about eighty short years on a troubled Earth when what we have before us is an eternity in the arms of God.
Jesus said we “must be born again” (Jn 3:7) into spiritual life. Chewing tobacco is not going to get us there, but prayer will surely help.


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