Papaw, that won’t work!

By Rev. Tim Throckmorton

Of course I knew it wouldn’t, but it’s what we Papaw’s do!

Last week Terri and I were blessed to watch the grandbabies while the kids were traveling which led to many opportunities to induce giggles and just be silly.

And so it was on a particular morning as I was driving little miss Kairi to pre-school that I suggested something like drinking coffee through my ear or maybe it was that I could run as fast as the car could go… some silly thing that was obviously beyond possibility and my sweet granddaughter quickly pointed out the sheer lunacy of such proclamations by simply saying… PAPAW, THAT WON’T WORK! She’s four and she knew better! Which brings me to the new reality that exists in the world today.

I think Pastor Pete in his third letter says it well… “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget:” the Message paraphrase says it this way, “They conveniently forget.” So here’s the focus of my remarks today… If you are doing it wrong it won’t work right!

My point here centers around the fact that God created this world to work a certain way and I do think that all that is wrong in the world is due to the way he put it together. He put the world together so that it won’t work right if it’s wrong!

The only thing worse than a world without God is a world with God working wrong. In a national sense we see this play out before us everyday. As our founding father John Adams emphasized, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

If you try to run a country in a way it was never designed to run you will have problems, and we do. If the world chooses to exist in a way other than God has designed… it just won’t work right! The work of God was remarkable in Europe as communism began to fall in the late 80’s early 90’s. In Rumania, Ceaușescu’s atheistic rule was ending and evangelistic crusades begin to abound. Witnessing the changed lives one evangelist said, “when the last alternative option to Christ has been exhausted and shown for it’s true bankruptcy then the name of the Lord Jesus takes on great power and allure.” Doesn’t that apply to all of human history when the false options rise and fall… yet Jesus remains! This is true in political and historical realms, and it is also true in the personal realm.

Man by himself says, I can do it, just give me the resources and I’ll figure this thing called life out on my own. So God gets his attention. Then man comes to Christ and says, OK God and I can do it! Ever hear about the mouse and the elephant who were best friends?

They hung out together often, the mouse riding on the elephant’s back. One day they crossed a wooden bridge causing it to bow, creak and sway under their combined weight. After they crossed, the mouse said to the elephant, “We sure shook up that bridge, didn’t we?” I think the little fella was giving himself more credit than he deserved don’t you? Now it’s about here that God says to man, “there’s one more step… you have to get out of the way and let have control of your life.” This happens when we see the emptiness of what we can do apart from him.

I read of a little girl and her daddy, who was watching an important football game. The little girl kept bothering him wanting to go get a treat at the corner store (a practice they routinely performed).

Finally, frustrated at her persistence at this particular time, he reached over and picked up a magazine and quickly thumbing through it found a picture of the world. Taking his scissors, he cut the picture out, then cut it into a number of much smaller pieces. Handing the pieces to the little girl, along with a roll of scotch tape he said “put this together, and when you have it looking like the world again, I promise you we’ll go get that candy bar.

Thinking he had pulled a good one and could watch the rest of the game in peace, he sat back down and got totally absorbed. After about seven or eight minutes the little girl came back in holding up a picture of the world all taped back together nice and neat. He couldn’t believe it! HOW DID YOU DO THAT? “Well daddy, I noticed on the back of the picture when you were cutting it up there was a picture of Jesus being put onto the cross. And when I put Him in the right place, the world all came back together! And so it is with us. When we live according to God’s grand design and he’s in the right place in our lives… IT WORKS!

By Rev. Tim Throckmorton