(09.23.21– Honoring –John 13:35)

My friend, may I ask you a question? When we honor others with our good works, what's in it for us, if anything?

My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.

I'm M. Clifford Brunner.

I was sitting on a rotting log up on Doggie Hill here at Beech Springs recently. As I gazed around I never realized how many other deadfalls littered the immediate area. Even the old Cherry log I was sitting on had once been vibrant and towering only a few years back. For a moment it seemed sad that so many old, noble trees were now, in part or total, becoming nothing more than fertilizer for a new crop of Beech and Maple seedlings. Then it struck me; that's where I was headed. My spot on that log was appropriate for perhaps in the matter of a few decades my fate would be similar. At that moment I no longer felt pity for the fallen. There was a secret honor inherent in those fallen timbers as they were giving something essential of themselves to benefit many others. At that moment I felt their honor become mine.

When we honor others with our good works, what's in it for us, if anything?

Here's a story: A preacher in a small European village disappeared every Friday for several hours. The villagers boasted that during those hours he ascended to heaven and talked with God. There was a newcomer to that village, a skeptic and unbeliever, who determined to find out the truth. He hid near the preacher's house and watched as the preacher rose early and left his house in the clothes of a peasant. He followed and watched him cut down a tree and chop up a large stack of firewood. The Preacher then made his way to a shack in the village, home to a widow, and stacked the wood. Leaving enough wood to last a week, he quietly returned home. The villagers were startled the next Sunday when the young new- comer was in church; and even more surprised when he became a Christian shortly thereafter. Later, upon the Preacher's death, he became his successor. For the rest of his own life, whenever he heard one of the villagers speak of his predecessor and say, "On Fridays he would ascend to heaven," he would add softly, "If not higher."(Alan Smith)