Friday, March 09, 2007
There was a man called Raymond. Raymond was a self professed atheist. Everywhere he went he found a way to argue that God did not exist. Raymond was pretty good at it. His logic seemed flawless. He could always find a weakness in the arguments of those who dared to argue against him. After which he would pounce them. Once he had out argued and humiliated his opponents, he would proceed to gloat and brag about his victories.
One day he decided to pick on this young lady – Rose -, who unaware of Raymond’s operating mode, lovingly mentioned the name of Christ. Raymond approached her as he approached the rest, with a smile, and speaking softly, words carefully chosen to arouse. This is where he thrived. As she heard his voice and the words coming from his mouth, she realized it fit the profile of the man she had been warned about. She looked at him and said, “So, you’re the one that claims he’s an atheist.” He replied indignantly, “Excuse me, what do you mean by ‘claim to be an atheist?” Rose replied calmly, “Well, my grandfather always told me, that there is no real atheist. I believed him.” Raymond answered with a mocking tone, “Ha! Your grandfather? What can that old man know? What reasons does he give for his assertion?” Rose looked at Raymond compassionately and said, “He told me, ‘the Bible says that the fool says in his heart that there is no God.” But, let that fool feel like he is dying, and immediately he calls on the God he said did not exist.’” Raymond laughed loud and sarcastically, and then said to her, “That will never happen to me.” She said softly, “Never say, ‘never.’”
You have an idea of what happened next. Raymond wakes up in the middle of the night, gasping for air. He felt his esophagus burning. Before, he could think about it, he muttered the words, “Oh, God help me!” Immediately, Raymond’s throat cleared up, and he was able to breath. The next day Raymond decided to go to the Doctor’s office to make sure all is well. No one in the office would dare speak, afraid of one of Raymond’s outburst. However, Raymond waited patiently for his turn and he started no arguments. This concerned every one in the office, but they were all afraid to ask.
Raymond’s name was called, but he still had to wait for the doctor. Finally, a dignified and distinguished old man, with a white beard and a pleasant disposition walked in. They exchanged the usual pleasantries. After this the old Doctor asked Raymond, “So Raymond, What can this old fool do for you?” Raymond remembered Rose. He remained silent for a few seconds. Raymond did not know what to do; He put his thoughts together and answered the Doctor. Raymond said shyly, “When I met your granddaughter she told about your thoughts on how atheists call on God when they feel they are dying. Well, it happened to me. I called on God. In fact, I even think He answered.” The old man listened attentively and then answered, “What happened?” Raymond told him with vivid details what had happened the night before. “Well, Raymond, you were wise to call on Him. You were wise to come here for a checkup. However, in a few days you memory of what happened will start to fade, and you will go back to your old foolish ways. It happens all the time. You will forget about the wisdom you have heard now. And, soon enough you may even despise it.” Raymond just listened silently, as the Doctor checked him.
The story reminds me of the one Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 9:13-16, let us read,
Ecclesiastes 9:13This wisdom have I seen also under the sun, and it seemed great unto me:
Ecclesiastes 9:14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it:
Ecclesiastes 9:15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man.
Ecclesiastes 9:16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.
Like the Raymond and the people in the little city many only remember God only in times of crisis. And, soon after the crisis is over, and life goes back to the same old routine they forget Him. You see, very likely the reason there was a crisis is because they ignored and despised His wisdom. So, they plead with God, and God bails them out. But, God’s wisdom not only bails out, it also may spare us from the impending crisis by giving us discernment to avoid it. God’s wisdom may also give us the strength and insight to go through with the crisis. But, for this we must be imbued with His wisdom before, through, and after any crisis. It is easy to do this when we realize the extent of our sinfulness and are grateful about the extent of His sacrifice for us. It is easy when we learn to listen to and trust the voice of His indwelling Holy Spirit. He is the source of God’s wisdom in us. Will you let Him dwell in you? He will make you wise.
The Special Insights web page resides at: