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John Bressler - Accept His sacrifice and live life accordingly

John Bressler - Accept His sacrifice and live life accordingly

John Bressler - Accept His sacrifice and live life accordingly

John Bressler


       I was talking to a friend, who happens to be a physicist, during choir practice and got on the subject of the infinity of space when the choir director looked at us and said, "If you don't shut up and sing, I will pray that God punishes you … a lot." We lost our train of thought. I do remember that we agreed driving through Texas is a lot like infinity. I also remembered that I read a blurb on the computer that said, "Google knows everything!" This morning, I went to Google and asked, "What must I know?"
       The answer is, "Know These Fifty Things."
       In my limited space, I can say I know most of them, but can't: remember names, tell if a melon is ripe, speak French, flirt without looking stupid, hook up a home theater system and end a date without making promises. I know how to travel light because I traveled with some folks to Scotland and one charming fellow taught me how to pack and have space left over for souvenirs — leave his underwear every place he spent the night. I can go one better, but you don't need to know.
       If I have learned anything in the last 74 years, it is that I do not have enough lifetimes to even scratch the surface when it comes to knowledge, experience and ability. I have resigned myself to the obvious: admit what I don't know, research what I feel I must know and recognize my limitations.
       I must confess there are times when I feel like the old biblical Job — which should have been spelled Jobe — when he knew God had wronged him and he just wanted his day in court to prove his innocence and that God would take away his unjustifiable pain and anguish. Job stepped over the line when he shouts, "Here is my signature! I request a hearing face to face with my accuser!" By human standards, Job was correct. He owned land, had servants, livestock and had the perfect family. Even the Bible story declares him, "blameless and upright and the greatest of all the people of the east." I can't get into the complexities of this Greek-like tragedy, but I can say that when Job gets his wish to face God in a court of law, it was not pleasant.
       God speaks, "Who is this wise man? Can you tell me the measurements I used for the foundation of this world? How do I keep the seas in their boundaries? Would you teach me chemistry, economics, anthropology, physics, paleontology, on and on, ad infinitum? Shall a finite limited human being question the wisdom of God?"
       Whether or not Job was treated unjustly or as an example is not our question. If we read this book carefully, Job was, as God declares, "A blameless and upright man."
       In 42:6, Job says, "I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." The best translations explain that Job, "melts into nothing" and "grieves uncontrollably and in utter shame."
       Our question must be, "Who am I?" My answer will not come from Google, an education of the ages or my limited wisdom.
       I turn to the Book of answers. I open the pages of Psalms and I quickly begin to read Psalm 8, "0 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you have created; who am I? Who are we? I cannot comprehend or understand and yet you have crowned us all with glory and honor!"
       Our old friend Paul confounds us even more when in Romans he writes, "Christ died for the ungodly. How can this be? But God showed His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!"
       Folks, all the wisdom in the world can't answer the ultimate question, "Why?"
       At least Proverbs gives us a start, "The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom!!!" My translation, "Believe in God, accept His sacrifice and live your life accordingly." While you're waiting, get your cap and gown. Graduation will be a hoot!

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