The King's business requires haste. Angels habitually break the sound barrier in the performance of the Divine will. And some preachers drive automobiles as if they consider themselves angels. Relying on their ill-defined "ministerial immunity," these messengers of light go "barreling" down the highways of the nation at speeds ranging from the rapid "ridiculous" to the reckless "sublime." A danger to "life and limb," they are a genuine health hazard. Their lack of respect for law is destroying respect for the Lord.
Nor may we always plead "emergency" as the basis for our erratic highway actions. It might be difficult to prove that it is a sin to exceed the speed limit. However, this much is sure—it is neither lawful nor expedient. If you must speed, join the space program before things get too crowded out there. Meanwhile on earth, why should your family be deprived of a husband and father, and the church a valued worker? There is a highway sign that reads,
"Brother, be careful how you drive—The angels leave you at 65."
P.S. In some States they leave earlier. My own favorite safety sign reads, "Drive carefully. The life you save may be mine."
E. E. C.
There was depth to apostolic preaching. Present truth in all of its beauty will challenge the keenest intellect. Angels must look on in amazement as sermons that reflect little study are presented to the people. Some men "shout" their messages to cover up, while others merely occupy the hour. Having nothing to say, they say it. Shallow sermons seldom save. Triumphant truth tests thought and emotion. Small wonder, then, that men are stirred when under its saving influence.
There is also danger in depth. Some men spend their lives there. They disappeared some time ago and haven't been heard from since on the soul-winning front. They are now given to long and eager microscopic research in matters of speculative interest. They are men of the archives and their sermons reflect their disengagement with mankind. So preoccupied are they with books that they are like the monk in the monastery of his library. Such a man has become a theological mummy, whose sermons, like himself, are dead and dry.
What is most needed now is that difficult but possible combination of simplicity and depth, sermons that appeal to human need and experience. Such a message serves as a call to action and provides proper motivation. There is verily in it the breath of life.
E. E. C.
In every life there are the shining hours when we are at our best. It is the era of peak performance. There are those desirable moments when failure takes a holiday and all is right with us and with the world. These are the days that we like to remember—days when we put our best foot forward. Should our lives end on a day like this, men would label us successful and we would find it hard to disagree.
But life is not like that. There are days of which we are not proud. They were the days when we trusted ourselves and failed ourselves, our fellow men, and our God. There may have been a succession of days when everything seemed to go wrong. To dwell on our failings is to invite depression which lasts as long as it is fed. Failure may be used, but not for shelter. Some have entertained their faults so long that they worship them. Failure is useful when it is repented of and profited by. There is so much else to meditate on for inspiration. Victories are seldom remembered—and failures seldom forgotten. Hebrew kings often inspired the people by reciting providences. Israel was not permitted to forget specific acts of divine intervention. There is a time to sigh and cry. Also there is place to rejoice, and be exceeding glad. And priority should be given to the latter. A good philosophy"Horas Non Numero Nisi Serenas." Interpretation, "I only number the hours that shine."
E. E. C.