Ever catch yourself thinking about “those days?”
You know the “those days” I mean – “those days back when.”
Those days when life was simpler, calmer, and, in many ways, safer!
Since moving back to my hometown, I have relived so many memories and remembered so many wonderful things. I have written about the old pictures that had been running in The Newport Plain Talk; have stopped to really look at paintings and photographs on the walls at Manes Funeral Home, etc; and enjoy taking a different route to get from here to there to see different things.
But, I know I cannot start over!
How I wish I had had the presence of mind as a kid to take pictures of all the old buildings downtown and collect maps and information on exactly where that field was or where those woods were.
That would have been interesting; but I know I cannot start over!
I drove around the Convalescent Center the other day; and saw where the flagpole was located (where my classmate, Tippy Brown (now Tip Brown, or Mr. Brown, or “Hey You”) raised the flag every morning and then took a nap); where the old sidewalk and steps started winding down the hill to downtown (which is now blocked off from public consumption – which is a shame).
The Old “Home Ec” and “Aig” Buildings are nothing more than a slab location now, as is the driveway that circled around the old gym and boys’ dressing room was; and where the little shed was located – where we built the Homecoming Parade Floats (remember those parades – downtown – now discontinued – what a shame). I saw the road that went to where David Jones lived.
Of course, the old athletic practice field is now the address for the Cocke County Memorial/Baptist/Mercy/Tennova Hospital; and, I think, at least one of the several trees that were planted as memorials is still there.
It is interesting to see all that now; but, try as you will, it is impossible to start over!
However; if you’ve got five minutes (or ten for those of you who really like to take your time)...
One of the most blessed among the many blessings of the Christian life is the amazing fact that we can change; be revived; rededicate ourselves, renew our commitments anew and afresh; rekindle our flames of Christian life. It is almost like beginning again, starting over.
We are familiar with mid-course corrections that have to be made in space travel. This is a very crucial time; because, if a space flight to the moon is off by one degree; it will cause the flight to miss the moon by 1,500,000 miles.
Likewise, in the Christian life; if we begin to drift off course ever so slightly; it can cause us to miss our marks by a very wide margin! So, maybe you need to make a mid-course correction — spiritually speaking!
Frankly, Christians are not taken to heaven as soon as we get saved; but are left here on earth for a reason: and it is not to pass judgment on others or examine their lives, but to pass judgment on ourselves and examine our lives. As the bumper sticker says: Christians are not perfect; just forgiven.
We are to see if we have an unworthy attitude, correct it when we do; and pass the desire to follow us along to everyone else. That’s why The Bible says, “Let a man examine himself . . .”.
Imagine that verse to be speaking in the physical realm: “examine yourself.” Find anything suspicious? A mole, a wound, a gray hair? Now what?
Just going to ignore it? Hope it goes away? Bummer attitude!
A spiritual self-examination admits sin when it is found. It causes us to be brutally honest before God; and leads us to make a mid-course correction — you know — start over!
You know, this isn’t going to happen if we are filled with pride; because only a genuinely humble person will admit his need to be forgiven and ask for a mid-course correction.
How about it? Do you admit that you need this? It takes a real man to admit it and do something about it; and wimps need not apply for this mid-course correction.
Tom Mooty is long-time Supply Pastor, Interim Pastor, Pastor, Old Pastor, Senior Pastor, “Medicare Minister” Pastor; and “Still Here” Pastor of West End Baptist Church of Newport; and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.