My Thoughts. . .

Thursday, July 25, 2019

A 16-year-old boy failed his entrance exams to school.  Some probably thought he would never make it in this world.  Menial jobs would be his future.  If he can’t make it in school at 16, what hope is there for his future?  Would anyone look at this failure and hope to mentor him because he had “promise”?  Oh, I forgot, he also had an accent.  Who would want to encourage such a teen?  His name?  Albert Einstein.

One day he decided he would not shave.  He made it through that itchy stage and watched his mustache and beard lengthen.  Within a few months is was looking good, so he decided to allow it to continue its growth.  Some wondered why he didn’t trim it, or perhaps shave?  After a while, he decided to see how long it would become.  His name was Hans Steiniger.  He was known by the world for what he accomplished.  He had every right to be proud of the length his beard had grown.  It was the longest grown by anyone else in the world.  But its length was his downfall!  Literally!  He was coming down the stairs, tripped over it, and died in the fall.  What other accomplishments did he have?  His beard seems to overshadow that information.  It was a world’s record in length!  He may have accomplished another record that no one thought about.  He may have been the only man in the world who was killed by his own hair growth!

My great grandfather, on my mother’s side of the family was a gambler.  I don’t know if that was his profession or he just enjoyed a good card game.  He may have been the best husband and father that anyone could desire.  He may have been an excellent bread winner.  He could have been a Mr. Fix-it.  He may have been well known and loved by his peers or even by society.  But not everyone who plays cards wants to lose.  He sat down at the card table with such a person.  The man charged him with cheating, pulled his pistol, a shot rang out, and my great grandfather was dead.  Because of the reason for his untimely demise, my grandfather’s sister never allowed any of her children to play with “spot (gambling) cards” on the premises.

Society misjudged that 16-year-old.  Some “wrote him off” as a failure.  Perhaps few would have given him a second glance.  Yet, in spite of all the negatives, his name is known around the world.  What about those who misjudged him and thought he was a failure?  Who remembers them or knows their names?

Hans Steiniger?  If he walked into the worship service and wanted to sit next to you, would you gladly move over and welcome him?  Maybe not because your gaping mouth would probably freeze you in place!  A tremendously lengthened beard would fall into the same category as someone with fingernails over a foot long.  Such accomplishments would put that individual in our “odd” category.  The attitude of many would be, “You aren’t one of us!”

I can understand Aunt Vida’s reason for not wanting her children or guests to play with spot (gambling) cards in her house.  Yet, “spot cards” like money are neither good nor bad.  All card games are based upon someone being the winner.  Sometimes we restrict the playing cards from the premises but socialize with the player.  We are “turned-off” by the appearance of an individual and cheat ourselves from knowing his heart.  We fail to see a person’s worth because of his failures rather than recognizing his value as one of God’s creation.  We do not appreciate others judging us, but we justify judging others.

What would you do with Jesus if you did not know who he was?  If he walked up to you in his first century garb, with the smell of body odor, his dirty feet showing through his sandals, needing a haircut, and spoke with a heavy accent, would you stop and gladly talk?  Would you invite him home to meet your family and stay for supper?  What judgments would we put into play to assist us in deciding what to do with the strangely dressed, body order smelling man?

I’m not suggesting that one will lose his soul because he passes up someone whose body odor burns his nostrils.  Neither am I inferring that everyone who holds out his hand is your signal from God to fill it with a twenty-dollar bill.  We live in an imperfect world and are guilty of adding to that condition.  We live in a huge classroom each day and need to recognize that God’s love is not reserved for us only.