The Pastor’s Piece – June 9, 2019
Fellowship of Christian Farmers, International
By Kevin Cernek
June 9, 2019
It is gnat season. For some reason a few years ago these biting attack bugs decided this part of the county would be a great place to settle in. Someone told me a gnat’s life cycle is about two weeks. That does not seem correct. They seem to be around a lot longer than that.
As we were preparing to head out the door to do some yard and garden work, my wife said to me: “You have got to do something about these gnats.” I asked her what she expected me to do? She said she didn’t care, but I had to get rid of them one way or another. I said I didn’t have the power to command bugs to come and go, but she insisted. I’m not sure if she mistook me for Moses and the plagues on the Egyptians where he willy nilly at the command of God made insects, frogs, and other creepy creatures appear and disappear. I don’t have a white beard or white hair like Moses supposedly had, so I’m not sure where the confusion comes in. (I do have a mustache though). I told her I was not some kind of great summoner who could just summon up whatever it took to rid ourselves of these pesky bugs. She did eventually find some kind of spray that helps ward them off some, but nothing works well. So we fight them until they finally go dormant again. At which time of course, we’ll have the mosquitoes to deal with.
I received an email from our church website. Some people were in town who used to attend years ago and were wondering if we could meet them at the church in a few hours. We did and they were very friendly and had quite a bit of history to tell us relating back to the 1960’s. Before they left, they took a picture of my wife and I. A few weeks later we received a nice card from them with a copy of the picture inside. The picture sat on the centerpiece of our kitchen table for awhile where we would glance at it every now and then. One day my wife said to me: “By the way, that picture does not look like you.”
The reason I bring this up is because since my picture appears at the top of this column every week, I have had numerous people tell me: “That picture of you on the website does not look like you.” How can it not look like me?
I’ve often wondered why, in the pictures dating back say, 80 or 100 years ago, nobody is smiling in them – ever. Then I discovered that back in the old days it took 45 seconds to a minute for the camera shutter to open and close. By the time they got their picture taken, everyone was getting cranky from holding their same pose for so long that if they weren’t grumpy when they started, they were when they got done.
Or perhaps, they just weren’t that happy back then. I don’t know. Maybe the good old days weren’t as good as everyone romanticizes them to be. I like the good old days I grew up in, but I wouldn’t want to go back there again. I came across a verse in the Bible today that says: “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions,” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). To put it another way, let bygones be bygones – and that has more than one application.
They say our smartphones listen in on our conversations and spy on us all the time. I don’t doubt that because they are times when something will come up in a conversation and the next time I go on my phone, an advertisement will pop up for the very thing I was just talking about. Coincidence? I don’t think so. If you want to play a little game with your smartphone, say something like: “I’d sure like to go to Pizza Hut tonight.” The next time you use your phone to go online, it’s very likely a Pizza Hut ad will pop up.
Some people freak out about being spied on by their phone, but I say, if you’re living your life the way you’re supposed to be living, then it won’t matter if you’re being spied on or not. Someday, the Bible tells us, we will have to give account for everything we’ve ever done, all the way down to every idle word we’ve ever spoken. In the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:36: “But I tell you that everyone will have to give accounton the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.” That’s pretty sobering. Compared to that, the smartphone eavesdropping doesn’t seem so bad – just as long as it’s not the government.
Enjoy the month of June!