Understanding opens the door to doing the job well. Heart and mind are the key to discipleship. Mind without heart makes for a sleepy Christian. My friend, life’s a story, stayed tuned for more on This Passing Day.
Many years ago I worked as a security guard for a company that provided armed security teams to large warehouses. I was young, in good health, physically able, and with a good work record, so the company did its normal background check and quickly hired me. This was an armed account, so I had to carry a sidearm. There was a gun safety course I had to take which I also passed without problems. I was assigned to an account in a part of the city where crime was rampant; burglaries and vandalism were commonplace. I was cautioned to be alert, vigilant and cautious. Since it was the graveyard shift, as they called it, from midnight to 8:00 in the morning, I was warned that above all things alertness was paramount. Falling asleep at the wheel of the guard car was something that was not only dangerous, it was cause for firing. Although I fought sleep often, especially between 3:00 and 5:00 in the morning, I was usually able to stay awake. Unfortunately, there were the two times I didn’t. Nabbed by my supervisor the first time, I got a warning. The second time I got my “last” warning and a stern talking to. His take on me was simple. “You’ve got the skills and ability to do a good job Mark, but it seems you’re just not properly disposed to do it.” It wasn’t long after this that they let me go.
I had all the necessary tools to do my job well as a security guard; yet I failed at it due to one of the most important aspects of doing any job well–commitment. I wasn’t properly disposed to understanding that alertness was key to making sure that the property I was protecting was being properly secured during my watch. I really didn’t take my job too seriously and it cost me my job in the end.
Here’s a story. Pliny the Elder, was a Roman writer who lived during the same time period as Jesus. He told a story of the setting of an obelisk, which when erect would stand 99 feet tall. Twenty thousand workers were chosen to pull on the ropes and activate the hoisting apparatus. There was great responsibility and risk in the operation. Just one error could cause the obelisk to fall, ruining years of work. The King demanded one act which insured the complete attention and best direction of the engineer. He ordered the engineer's own son to be strapped to the apex of the obelisk, so that his heart as well as his head would be given to the task. (Pulpit Helps, August, 1992, p. 14.)
You and I have another job in life that requires skills that most of us have since they’ve been generously provided by our Lord Jesus Christ. It’s an occupation that is critical since it involves our eternal lives as well as those of others we are here to consider with ourselves: our family, neighbors and friends. That occupation is making sure that the Good News of salvation in Christ Jesus is not only secure in our lives but in the lives of everyone we touch. Yet, just having the skills isn’t enough. Our heart as well as our head needs to be focused on this most important of all tasks in life. Essentially, we need to be not just able to share the gospel, we need to be in a mind set, disposed, to doing it. Here’s why. Life will throw many temptations and sorrows at you in the course of three score years and ten. With these come questions about the mysteries of pain, heartbreak and grief. Knowledge of God puts each of us into a position to tackle these; but a heartfelt understanding and disposition to know the truth allows us to be submissive to God’s will. Thus properly disposed, the knowledge of life’s challenges will not only become clear, they will become understandable. Understanding opens the door to doing the job well. Heart and mind are the key to discipleship. Mind without heart makes for a sleepy Christian.
We pray. Thank you Lord for revealing your will for us through Jesus Christ our Lord. When we commit ourselves to a life of discipleship in heart and mind, we know you will bless our work in Christ. Forgive us Father when we become ill disposed to doing this important work by knowing the truth but not pulling it into our hearts to make it effective not only in our lives but in the live of others around us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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