The weatherman said our temps were ten degrees below normal for this time of the year. I discovered he was right as I sat shivering in a treestand on opening morning. I brushed off his claim because, well you know, always being accurate in that job is not a prerequisite. I know they try, and I know they can’t completely know, but let’s just say I’m glad the standards for heart surgeons are not this hit-or-miss. There are just some things where details really matter. I have the opportunity each semester to teach undergrad students. One of their assignments is to do a summary of a particular chapter in an assigned book. The instructions simply say this. “Your grade will be determined by your ability to follow directions.” I tell them I’m not interested in their opinion or their ability to do more than the desired amount, or anything else. Just simply their ability to follow directions. Why? Because in most things details matter. In some things, they are essential and are life-giving or life-taking. Take for instance my student who wants to become a veterinarian. Since I don’t want her to kill my dog, I prefer her to get the details of a prescription right. Take my other student who wants to become an electrician. Since his wife wants him to come home each night, she would prefer him to get the details right as well. The second mile of sacrifice cannot come before the first mile of obligation. Or as Samuel, the prophet of God told King Saul, “To obey is better than sacrifice.”
When I think about the life of faith, sometimes I want to bring to God’s attention each time I sacrificed. (Or at least what I considered a sacrifice) I want to remind him about the extra I put in the offering plate or the meal I passed up in order to pray, or the…
For the complete article, see the September 29th edition of The Lexington Progress.