There was the story of a young man going into the small town pharmacy… wanting to purchase an unusual gift. He told the Pharmacist that he wanted three boxes of candy; a one pound, a 3 pound, and a 5 pound. The Pharmacist, clearly puzzled, inquired of the young man’s choice.
In full confidence… The young man gladly explained that he was going to Sunday Diner at his girlfriend’s house, and if he was invited to the front porch after dinner, then he’d present her with the one-pound box of candy; if he was able to hold her hand, he would present her with the 3-pound box; and if he were allowed a kiss, then he’d present the 5-pound box of candy.
The Pharmacist congratulated him on his forethoughtfulness. On the appointed day… he went to the house, and as they sat down for dinner…he was asked to “say grace” by the girl’s Father. He proceeded to pray for everyone… every world calamity, everything under the sun.
After dinner… they went to the front porch, the girl confronted him… saying that she had no idea that he was so spiritual. He answered that he also “had no idea that her Father was the local Pharmacist.” The moral: Always know to whom you speak, and do not speak with forked tongue.
Often times… we go into a meeting… a luncheon engagement with an old friend, a social gathering…or even a Sunday Church service…with a ‘plan’ with mischievous intent. What are we thinking? Who do we think we’re fooling? I’m the… WORST. I… seemingly… present myself as someone that, clearly… I’m not. I look the part, I play the part, I even ‘smell the part.’ But it’s all a FRONT.
I don’t want anyone getting CLOSE to me; to KNOW me, to RELATE to me… or to get too FRIENDLY. For many years …I was ‘hidden in the closet’ and, I’m afraid they’ll find me out.
I was hiding from GOD. Well… maybe not specifically…because I knew, that He knew…where I was; who I was; and what I consisted of. Yeah, He did… but I wasn’t inclined for anyone else to KNOW the real me. It was none of their business.
You see… I had, I thought… a very deep, and personal, relationship with God. I knew Him, and He knew me. It was PERSONAL… just between Him… and me. No-one else was invited to the party.
About five years ago, I realized that I was ‘not following’ His GREAT COMMISSION. We are told in Matthew 28:19-20… 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Verse 19, I picked up on, and ‘ran with the ball.’ In fact… that was when BrOOKS-of-WISDOM came into being…. I had ‘come-out-of-the-closet.’ With the help of World-Renown Evangelist Adrian Despres… I had ‘discovered my purpose.’ God wanted me to ‘come out of the closet’ and ‘spread His Word.’ Ok God… you got me. Here I come. But the FACT of the matter was… I was ‘all dressed up’ and nowhere to go. I was not prepared. I was ‘faking it.’ I was ‘pretending.’ I still had ‘one foot in the closet.’
I am a “CLOSET CHRISTIAN.”
But wait…eh? Wait? Me telling God to WAIT. No…it was God telling me to WAIT. You see, I didn’t pay any attention to VERSE 20. “… and teaching them to OBEY everything I have commanded YOU. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of age.”
You see… we can ‘play the part’ all we want. We can ‘dress for the part.’ We can ‘ham-it-up’ all we want… but are we being TRUE to God, and to ourselves. Unless… we ‘follow the instructions’ with our ‘whole heart, and our whole soul, and with our whole mind…” Then, we (or should I say ME) are still in the closet.
The KEY to all of this is… ‘Learning to LOVE our neighbor as ourselves.’ I’m stumbling around on that one. It’s taken me…60 YEARS to figure it out. LOVE they NEIGHBOR. It’s a humbling experience. I’m still learning how to LOVE others. It’s HARD… at least, hard for me. By loving others… it’s “letting them in the closet.” The place where I hide. My PERSONAL space. It’s when I began to SHARE …me…with you…that I began to make progress. I’m telling you… it’s HARD. Especially when… I, seemingly…am talking to the ‘guy in the mirror.’ I’ve gone…almost 78 years of loving, for the most part… only one person…ME. It’s very LONELY in ‘that darn closet.’ But, the good news is: I’m making progress.
So… you see… by sharing ‘this story’ with YOU… I’m getting that ‘other foot’ out of the closet… a bit at a time. Hopefully, you… might learn something from my experience. I cannot move forward… in my relationship with GOD, unless I SHARE my ‘walk’ with HIM…with YOU. My job is… to set an EXAMPLE. If you don’t see, at least… a bit of God…in me; then…I am failing in my job. Stay TUNED. Let’s do it together….LOVE to all…and…