Growing together in the Spirit of Jesus Christ...

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." - Hebrews 10:25 NIV

Friday, December 24, 2010

December 24, 2010 (Artificial Submission)

It has been quite a while since I last posted here.

No excuses… I am sure you have heard them all before.

Artificial Submission

Years ago I never thought I would have anything artificial…
I wanted the real thing. A wood burning fireplace with a cord
or two of neatly stacked firewood outside along the shed;
real candles that required a match (or two)
to ignite and with wicks to trim;
a real Christmas tree that we cut down ourselves
and required some work to stand up
in a stone crock surrounded by stones
and rocks strategically placed to keep
the thing upright and straight…
and a tree which required periodic watering.
Ah, the smells alone were enchanting.
This is being alive
and living life to the fullest.

Now I am older and perhaps a bit more… well older.
You get the picture… now, or you will eventually.

The artificial “electric” fireplace looks pretty good.
The artificial candles even flicker.
And the artificial tree has finally, after 5 years,
paid for itself.

No more smoke in the room because of poor draft and
a lot less dirt and soot on the curtains, etc. No more lugging in
firewood (or paying to have it delivered),
constantly stoking the fire, and cleaning out the ashes.

No more candles that burn unevenly
or won’t stay lit, and less danger from
three very active cats.

And no more struggles with the “perfect” looking
Christmas tree year after year. I don’t even have
to string the lights anymore. How about
the allergies from a real tree, the poison ivy,
and the hatching spiders that migrate to the
tree top and decorate the angel or star.

Yes the cats still like to play with the tree branches,
the ornaments, and they even try to eat
the artificial needles (with accompanying throw-up)…
hmmm… how about artificial cats?

Life is simpler now… ???

Oh but how I miss those smells… artificial
smells in a can or perfumed scented whatever
just isn’t the same… yet! Nor is the
fireplace sounds on a CD and you can’t even
roast “artificial” marshmallows or have the fun
of putting out the candles between your two fingers.

Still… I have adjusted. I don’t even have to squint
my eyes shut a bit to make it appear more magically
less plastic looking… age is doing that for me.

My point to all of this is to draw the line somewhere.

Lets consider what is really important.

Have we let
ourselves become comfortable with an artificial faith…
less genuine, less passionate, less active?

Do we have a “pose able” faith?
One we put on for show… a faith without works?
That is not even an artificial faith…
that is a dead faith… non-existent.

“Faith and works are bound up in the same bundle.
He that obeys God trusts God;
and he that trusts God obeys God.
He that is without faith is without works;
and he that is without works is without faith.”
- C.H. Spurgeon

Keep the “real” flame alive…
the one that counts.


Gene said...

Larry, aging artificially. Well said. We should create our own website and protest it!

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Really enjoyed the honesty & the humor in your post - the deep truth in your words reach the heart! We can rejoice together that the Lord is the real thing, and there is NOTHING artificial about His love for us.