A virtual plethora of emails have promised 30 shrimp for only $11.99, a gaggle of health and physical enhancement products, multiple opportunities to engage a new and exciting group of friends or potential future relationships and on and on goes the listing. Turning from the unrequested offerings to the pages of social media reveals a similar potpourri of drivel, useless information and often way too personal revelations from odd characters of the electronic meeting places. These range from the lovelorn mourning of those who are without companionship, or those who are in the process of pursing or ending relationships to the verbal vomit of those who must just say something in fear of silence or the challenge of dealing with their own personal dilemmas, in faint hope that someone will bite the lure and answer their plea. Also prominent on the walls of these personal reflection screens are the rantings of the religion seekers and their counterparts, the internet prophets and prophetesses. These posts usually increase in intensity around the times of acknowledgement of Christ's birth or resurrection and are ever diligent to point out the "error" of making such acknowledgement or celebration by ascribing such activity to the realms of pagans, demons or other such unsavory opponents of what they hold to as true religious beliefs. One such recent comment viewed on a former neighbor's chalkboard (for such are the longevity of their beliefs and or practices) indicated relief that the holidays were over, so that now the world could get back to normal? Another used the recent holiday season to make postings both physical and electronic conveying the earth shattering news that our holiday may be someone's "holy day". And yet others post their newest found and held internet theology sites, somehow hoping to justify their current leanings and to defend their desire to reject the reality of God's Word and their failed adherence to it.
So much junk and so little time! On such days, I have often entertained a notion of answering back each of the noted offerings with an appropriate response: for the shrimp folks...are you really telling me that you aren't ashamed of charging me the outrageous price of 40 cents each for the tiny, freezer burned, over cooked, over salted shrimp, just so I can have some free cheesy bisquits with my dinner? Or for each of the lovelorn: please, quit talking to us about your lost love or desired love or broken love online; get off the computer and go talk to them in person, you might actually end up with a relationship that way!! or for the cultist in training or the false prophet's fishing: Mt. Carmel, noon...show up and be prepared. Winner takes all.
But then I am reminded that:
- For almost 120 years, Noah built an ark in plain view of all who would perish, in spite of seeing God's provided salvation for the coming flood.
- For 40 years in the wilderness, Moses preached, taught and reiterated God's Words to a nation, whose then current generation would all die because of their rejection of it, except for two dudes and the next generation born in the wilderness.
- For 3 1/2 years Christ answered the challenges of the disciples, the religious leaders and His own family without a single sin, yet one of the disciples would deny Him, the religious leaders would prosecute for His crucifixition and His own brothers mocked Him (to the brother's benefit, some did come to understand truth...Jude and James, at least)
- Paul would spend the early years of his ministry almost exclusively to his own people, the Jews, who rejected the Word of God and whose blood would be on their own hands for their rejection of it.
And in this I am able to exercise another God given gift....the ability to turn the other cheek! The words and taunts of others need not be our constant task to defend and correct; God's Word already has that exclusive power. Our's is to be obedient to what God has called us...specifically, me, to do.
And so, with so much day and so little time....on to the battle; time to go and tell!!