11/1/17 – Pastor Brian’s Blog
Judy posted this picture of my bike on her Facebook page and a friend of mine said “Your next blog post: ‘When the bark is bigger than the bike’.” So, Jeff Davoll: you better be reading my blog this week!!
So, this past Sunday started like any other Sunday. I got up early, went to church to get ready for our Sunday services, went over the two messages I would be giving that day, prayed, and I was ready to go. After the service we had a luncheon meeting with the people that make up “Team 29:18,” and then we went to help some people in our church move, and then home for a restful afternoon.
As we were walking into the parsonage Judy said something like, ‘Shouldn’t you move your bike because there is supposed to be a terrible storm coming in tonight.’ At least that is what she said she told me; I don’t remember her saying anything! Either way, our bike was not moved.
I am in my living room watching football with a friend later that evening when Judy comes downstairs and asked if I had heard that big crash. (I did mention that I was watching football, right?) I told Judy I did not hear a thing but with her encouragement I did go outside to look. Because of the darkness I could see very little, so I went back to my recliner to watch the game.
I must admit that during the night I thought Judy might have been right, as I woke up a couple of times only to feel the house moving back and forth because of the strong winds. I also noticed that we had lost power. So, when I got up in the morning I went out back to assess the damage, if any, caused by the storm.
As I walked out on our back deck I saw something missing in the sky, only to realize that one of our 100 foot+ pine trees had been blown over. Thankfully God had the wind blow away from the parsonage instead of blowing towards the parsonage so that the tree landed in the school bus parking lot and not on our house.
After I walked over to look at the tree I continued my walk around the house to see if I could see any other damage from the storm. I thought we went unscathed until I walked around to the front and saw a tree on top of our motorcycle. And when I told Judy she said something like, ‘Don’t you remember me telling you yesterday that you might want to move the bike!?’
In my quiet time this morning I found myself reading about Noah. So, when I sat down to write my blog this morning, I thought, “What would have happened to Noah if he had not listened to God or just decided to ignore what God said?”
Noah lived during a time in human history like none other. No one, except for his family, worshiped God. People were worshiping man-made idols and chasing after their own selfish dreams and desires. My guess would be that there would not have been a sin known to mankind that would not have been available to Noah. Outside of his family, everyone in Noah’s life could not even imagine being faithful to God, say nothing about listening to God.
Yet despite this terrible environment, godless peer pressure, and temptation beyond imagination, Noah chose to listen to God… Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Genesis 6:22
WOW: “everything!!” I looked up the word “everything” in the dictionary and it says… “Every single thing or every particle of an aggregate or total; all.” And because Noah listened to God in everything, God was impressed… But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. This is the account of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God. Genesis 6:8-9
Because of the wickedness of mankind, God designed an act of judgment unlike any other judgment before and unlike any kind of judgment since; He was going to destroy the world by a flood. Yet because Noah listened to God, he and his family were saved.
But imagine if Noah had chosen not to listen, had chosen to do his own thing, or had decided to do it his own way. If he had, Noah would have missed out on some of God’s most impressive acts. If Noah had not listened to God, then he would never had planted the trees to build an ark. And if there were no trees planted, then there would have been no trees to cut down, no logs to saw and no planks to cut and consequently no ark to build. And with no ark to build, Noah would have been like everyone else and his family would have perished.
When we do not listen to God, our tendency is to continue to do what we always have done. We tend to want to live by sight, do the things that come easy to me, work on attainable dreams; we love it when we can see a viable return on our investment.
Listening to God requires more than just listening; it’s about doing what God wants us to do and allowing God to change us in the process. God not only has a mission for us to do, He wants to get us ready for the mission and if we ignore Him or do not listen to Him we have no idea what we will miss out on.
I can imagine that there were times that Noah must have thought, ‘What is the use? No one likes me; everyone thinks I am crazy; I am building something no one has ever seen for an event that no one has experienced.’ Yet because he continued to listen to God, because of his persistence to live righteously, his life and the life of his family was saved.
From start to finish, Noah’s act of obedience took 43,800 days of listening. Yes, that’s right, for 43,800 days or 1,051,200 hours, Noah followed through on what God told him to do! When we approach the end of our life and we look back at what we accomplished, will we be able to say that we did what we were supposed to do? That question cannot be answered by a mere yes or no; that question will be answered by whether we listened to God and how we responded.
Last Sunday afternoon if I had only listened to Judy, I would not have had a tree land on my bike, I would not have had to call Geico this morning, I would not have to take my motor cycle to Combustion Motorworks to be worked on, I would not have to cover my $500 deductible, and I would not have had my friend Jeff poke fun at me by giving me the title for this blog, “When the bark is bigger than the bike.” Imagine if I had only listened to Judy, look at how much I would have missed out on!!