DayBreaks for 5/4/17 – Pig Parties

DayBreaks for 5/04/17: Pig Parties

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2007:

From “News of the Weird”, UPI, 5/1/98: When farmers leave for the day, pigs start to party, said agricultural researches in Reading, England, interviewed by the London Daily Telegraph in April.  According to Nick Bird of the Farmex firm, the pigs eat, drink and roughhouse until about midnight before retiring for the evening, at least in buildings that are well lighted.  Farmex now wants to know whether this has any effect on the supply of bacon.

Do you remember that old saying about “When the cat’s away, the mice will play”?  Apparently it is not only true of cats and mice, but of farmers and pigs, too! 

I am also aware of the fact that this happens in the world of business.  I know.  I’ve been there and been guilty of it myself.  When the boss is gone, sometimes we don’t give our best effort – or at least not as intense of an effort as when the boss is there.  For some of you reading this today – your boss is out of the office.  How are you doing with your work today?  Are you slacking off – even just a little bit?  If so, do you think that is what God wants you to do?  It comes down to the question of who you believe you really work for, doesn’t it?  Are you working for Mr. or Ms. Smith, or even your family? Or are you working for God and displaying your thankfulness to Him for the job He has given you?

There are biblical parallels to this story.  The parable of the talents was about using what we’ve been given and being faithful with it.  You’ve been given a job, just like the servants were given talents.  The ones that took what they’d been given and worked hard with it while the master was gone were praised and trusted with more.  The servant who didn’t do that had even what he was given taken away from him. 

Another parallel with a different meaning is the wickedness that the Lord said would precede his return.  Matthew 24:37-39 relays to us the words of our Lord: As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;     and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.  You see, the Master has been gone for a long time now and the “party” has continued for a long time.  The terrible tragedy of the picture Jesus relates to us is that just as those who were lost in the flood waters had no idea it was coming, so those who “party” while the Master is away will be totally caught off guard by his return. 

How are you spending your time at work?  How are you spending your life?  To be right with God, we need to do both as if He were present all the time for one simple reason: He is.

PRAYER: Lord, many of us will be tempted this day to goof off when we think no one is watching us.  Help us to be the kind of people who don’t even think about trying to get away with less than a 100% effort in all we do that is right.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.


DayBreaks for 09/29/11 – If We’re The Master, Hope Dies With Us

DayBreaks for 09/29/11 – If We’re the Master, Hope Dies With Us

This is what the LORD says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD.  They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. – Jeremiah 17:6

The English poet William Ernest Hensley wrote these words, the poem Invictus:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Really?  Master of my fate?  Captain of my soul?  Is that really all that good, even if it were true?

There’s a book I’ve not read, but which I think I might, called The Year of Magical Thinking.  It was written by Joan Didion, and it is her attempt at making sense of the sudden death of her author husband, John Gregory Dunne.  They had been at the hospital where their only child was in a coma (the child would die the next year).  They had just settled down at the table for dinner when John died of a massive heart attack.

The title of the book describes her growing awareness of how she kept behaving as if her husband would come back.  She imagined that if she could just find out enough information about how he died, it would change things.  Or, if she kept some of his clothing, he’d come back and use them again.  If she stayed at home, that he’d come home and they’d share the same bed together again.  Of course, she knew it wouldn’t happen, but those irrational thoughts kept running through her head in her attempt to change the fact that death seemed to have the final word.

In the end, she concludes that we are all powerless, suggesting that our lives are lived out above a frayed safety net that we’ve constructed with our imagined control over life and the things that happen in it.  Sadly, the last line in her book is a reference to one of Jesus’ teachings, but her conclusion was that “no eye is on the sparrow.”  Here’s the point: if we really are Master of the Game, and if she’s right, then when we die, our hopes die, too.  But, if there is another Master, a far better Master, then there is also a better hope than what we have if left to control things ourselves.

PRAYER: We need so much more trust in You, Lord, and much less in ourselves!  Forgive our arrogance and haughtiness to think we are master of our own souls!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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