Granny Thalia, my mentor, was away in South Africa with her husband attending his older brother’s funeral and catching up with family they hadn’t seen in years. Years, I am told, is the gap between the appendages attached to either side of your head for the purpose of hearing, which in my case, I was dutifully informed, is large, cavernous and empty.
“Then,” I responded, “I have plenty of time to take it all in, so what’s your hurry?”
That calls to remembrance the day I discovered I was professional, likely to be as big a surprise to you as it was to me.
I was doing the lighting at a fashion show. Everything had been set up and checked. The fashions were gorgeous and practical, not like so many I’ve observed with objects sticking out or hanging in the most hideous fashion, which we’re expected to rush out and buy.
It was the centrepiece of the show. I was to light the focal point of three beautifully crafted suits, bathing them with the warm glow of surprise pink accompanied by brilliant white. As I moved the sliders up from dim I discovered, to my horror that the white light had failed. I panicked running over every possibility on my console and racing to the power socket. Nothing appeared wrong.
After the show I received a dressing down from the fashion organiser for an unprofessional outcome, who later demanded a refund from my employer and was refused. Further investigation revealed the connection between two power leads had separated when a waiter had accidently tripped over the chord without reporting the incident.
Later, as I apologised to my employer for not being professional at my job, he bluntly responded, “You are professional, you get paid to do it.”
Such professionalism obviously has naught to do with ability, knowledge or experience.
That’s the difficulty Bob was having while seeking to work out his own salvation. Actually he had all the knowledge you could hope for with, not only one, but two bachelors in fields almost poles apart.
Bert often commented, “If you want to know something, ask Bob. He knows everything.”
Bob planned his investments to perfection.
“Till even his interest was earning interest,” commented Jane.
There was nothing Bob could not afford. Health was clinical, nothing was amiss and the best practitioners could be afforded. The sturdy, picturesque homestead was in perfect condition and could last them four or five lifetimes according to more than one real estate agent.
Bob had nothing to worry about, except the night that Michael visited him.
He was turning off the light in the family room when Michael appeared, standing there, as if from nowhere.
“Hi Bob, I’m Michael,” Michael greeted him, “I’m afraid I’ve come to tell you, your number’s up.”
No! It couldn’t happen just like that. Not after all the precautions he had taken: the right diet, weight control and plenty of exercise. Hadn’t his doctor told him he was ‘as fit as a fiddle’?
Come to think of it, how fit is a fiddle?
“You’re joking, right?” he responded, “I mean I feel great, and after all the effort I’ve gone to making sure everything’s in the right order. I’ve received all the best advice and followed all the rules.”
Michael looked downcast, “You remember it being said that life is not only in meat and drink?”
Oh that. He had never had much time for religious twaddle.
While his mind responded, digesting Michael’s reply the doorbell chimed and he stood, frozen in time and space.
“Better get that,” Michael suggested.
Bob nodded and moved down the passage to answer the door. Ferdinand, the pastor of a small church two blocks away stood without.
“Bob,” he greeted, “I just had an urge to come talk with you. Is everything ok?”
Bob invited him in to meet and talk with Michael, but Michael had mysteriously disappeared.
Ferdinand and Bob discussed angels, the good news of salvation and Bob’s need to depend on the only one with the power to save him. That night, on the eve of his death, Bob settled his final account.
“Father, I believe that Jesus is the Christ: your only begotten son who died for me and is the only way I can be saved. Forgive me my neglect and wrong doing. Save me by Jesus Christ. Amen”
Moving from works to faith Bob discovered the only way to be saved – by grace.
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