Meditations of a christizen (christian-citizen)upon today's topics.
The junior high school lunch hour provides an anthropological Mecca as a location with which to observe interactions between people. The most impressive lunch time lesson that I received about human relationships did not take place in the cafeteria. Instead, it happened at a counselor’s office.
I met my childhood best friend, Richard while we were in the 6th grade. We did not click right away. However, one spring Saturday we ran into each other at the “Y”, also known as the Y.M.C.A. Thereafter, we hung out. We talked a lot usually about music, girls, and our coveted “baddest” rankings where we discussed what boy would win in a fight against another. In addition, playing Saturday baseball games at the “Y” provided a staple of our summers. Ah the good ole days. But, I digress.
I was a brown bagger, one who brought my lunch with me to school. Richard, however, ate the hot meals offered by the school. Typically, lunch carrying kids would get to the tables first because they did not wait in line. It was by sheer chance or on occasion that we sat together at lunch. Pizza day was different. We both ate the hot meal when pizza was served.
1 Lesson, 2 Lunches
The Lord used pizza to prove a point. I will expound. The cafeteria resided on the first floor whereas the lockers were stationed on the second and third floors. One fine day, Richard found himself in a predicament. He had not taken his books to his higher level locker as students started lining up. Ah, but he had a friend. We just sauntered over to Mr. Schaefer’s office. Richard asked the friendly school counselor if he could keep his books in the office. The school office pleasantly agreed and then we were off to lunch featuring the prized pizza.
Flash forward to a future pizza day. It was my turn to be late. In fact, I wasn’t even initially late. I thought I’d be slick and do same thing Richard did and just ask nice Mr. Schaefer to keep my books in his office. He wasn’t so nice to me. He was polite, didn’t yell or anything, but he said no. Furthermore, he lectured me about how it was my responsibility to take my books to my locker etc etc. The speech lasted so long I barely made it to lunch on time. What was the difference between Richard and I?
Richard earned the trust of the school counselor. He proved himself dependable doing errands for the school official. He was consistent and displayed an attitude of gratitude. Me, I was some boy he didn’t know from Adam. I was an unknown, unheard of somebody asking a favor of him. It’s all about the value of relationship, Richard had it and I didn’t.
New Lease on Life
Hezekiah, a good king of Judah, the Hebrew’s southern nation, similarly had this kind of trust with the Lord. I am not saying that the Lord does favors by us because we deserve these. As the Word says salvation is by grace lest any man boast. However, God undoubtedly responds better to some than others.
Hezekiah in his old age was feeling it. He fell ill. One day Isaiah the prophet delivered a message to him from the Lord. He said, “Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die and not live.” (2 Kings 20;1) Hezekiah was saddened by this. He wept as he prayed. He also reminded God of his well established record as a faithful servant. I contend that God did not respond to the weeping so much as he did the record. Relationship matters. Hezekiah got his prayer through, Isaiah returned with good news announcing 15 more years of life and to boot the Lord displayed a miracle as proof of his promise. (see 2 Kings 20:1-11)
Lest we forget, Hezekiah had something to talk about when he read his record. The Scriptures say that “he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.” (see 2 Kings 18:3) He rid the country of idol like influences not the least of which was the brass serpent that hailed back to Moses day. He established himself. Apparently, he already knew the value of relationship before his new lease on life. I wonder if he learned this back when he was in the biblical era equivalent of junior high. Just saying.