I Can Wear Long Pants
Cold weather is coming. I’m excited beyond words.
By “cold,” I mean below 80°. That’s sufficient as far as I’m concerned. It means I’ll be able to go outside for more than three minutes without worrying about my shirt sticking to me when I come back inside.
We had a hot September and August. Al Gore would be thrilled. Now we’re getting weather in the lower 80s, and it actually feels cool.
Yesterday I was able to load manure in the truck and put it on the fruit trees. I could have done this in the summer, but heat, broiling sunshine, streaming sweat, and airborne manure and fertilizer were not a combination I wanted to face. I put manure, fertilizer, epsom salt, and Ironite on the mangoes, bananas, plantains, and some of the other trees. I replaced my dying impatiens with new victims and manured the flowerbed. I feel like these were major accomplishments.
We are told to do stuff like this as though we were doing it for God himself. Arrgh. Okay! Okay! I’ll do it. But…arrgh.
I didn’t fully understand how high my truck’s bed was until yesterday. I had to stack big bags of manure in it, and the tailgate was at chest height. That’s not very convenient. I looked around on the web, and I found that some people lower their beds. Evidently, you don’t need to have your bed way up in the air unless you’re towing. Futhermore, I would guess that Dodge makes the bed higher than it has to be, for the strange people who jack their trucks as high as possible.
I don’t understand the truck-raising fad. It makes a truck less safe to drive, and it makes it hard to get in and out. It makes the bed hard to use. If you don’t use the bed, why get a truck? I think you have to be out of your mind to get a truck and then modify it so you can’t use the bed. Talk about expensive and totally useless fashion accessories. It makes a $10,000 Chanel suit seem like a good buy. If your truck is primarily a toy, and you like customizing it like a Harley, more power to you. I just want to be able to use mine. I already have a Harley. From a functional standpoint, it’s pathetic and useless. The footboards drag when I turn. I don’t need any more silliness in my life.
I don’t know anything about four-wheeling, but I have seen people claim that raising a truck makes it more suitable for going off-road. Is that really true? The ground clearance doesn’t change at all. The axles don’t rise with the truck. You can add axle height by using ridiculous oversize tires which don’t really work with your suspension. I don’t know why I’d want to do that. It effectively lowers the final drive ratio, and the tires are expensive, and it looks stupid.
When I was a kid, I rode in what I thought was the ultimate off-road vehicle. It was a dune buggy made with VW Beetle parts. This thing would go places a truck or Jeep could never go. It was just a cage with two seats. Two-wheel drive. You could go straight up the side of a hill with it. You could drive it straight into a curb a foot high and barely feel the bump when you went over it. Wonderful vehicle. I think if I had a desire to drive around in the dirt, I’d get something like that instead of ruining an expensive truck and getting inferior performance.
My truck has four spacers in it that raise the bed. You can take them out from between the rear springs and axle and put them above the springs. This drops the bed over an inch. I may do that. It’s reversible. It would be great to have the bed three or four inches lower, if there’s a cheap way to do it without causing problems when there’s a load on the springs.
People who lower their trucks get a lot of ridicule from people who raise theirs. Common sense has a way of drawing hostility from those who lack it. I would have to be demented to take this gigantic truck out in the mud and try to use it as an all-terrain vehicle. It will never happen. It would be like using an ocean liner to go bass fishing. I am never going to have to worry about rocks hitting the underside of the body. Might as well bring the bed down where I can use it.
When I was working on the truck, installing Nerf bars and a rear-view camera, I was amazed at how easy it was. I could lie on the ground under the truck and reach up without bending my arms much. The T-bird, on the other hand, was so low I couldn’t get a low-profile jack under it. I wouldn’t want to go back to T-bird ground clearance, but I don’t need two feet or whatever it is that I have now.
Last night I watched Robert Morris again. He did a sermon on faith. He says we should not have faith in things happening. I may be phrasing that wrong. Charismatics tend to venture into a practice called “name it and claim it,” in which they pray for things in the name of Jesus, state that they have them, and then wait for God to hand them over. I believe he was criticizing this.
He pointed out that we sometimes pray for things and believe we will receive them, only to be disappointed. That’s true. He said we should learn that we’re supposed to use our faith to bring us close to God. He pointed out that lots of faith-filled believers have been martyred and tortured and so on, and that they did not lose their faith. Surely they prayed to be spared. The point of a faith-filled life is not to make God do stuff for us. It’s to get close to him and know him and receive grace to submit to him and do his will. Bad things will happen to us, and it doesn’t mean we’re failures as Christians. If we have faith, God will make these things work out to our benefit, even if we don’t receive that benefit in this life. I think I’m summing it up fairly well. Maybe not.
Anyway, he said we often believe for things that are not God’s will, and that when we do that, we’re effectively exalting our will above his.
Here is where I come down on this. I think he’s absolutely right, as long as you don’t read anything extraneous into what he said.
Our lives are supposed to be victorious, but not without suffering. Even the two witnesses in the book of Revelation–extraordinarily powerful prophets–will be slaughtered. Many men of God have been tortured and killed. Paul was flogged over and over. Stephen was murdered by an angry mob. It only makes sense that the rest of us should sustain painful losses from time to time. On the other hand, I know for a fact that it’s often possible to claim something God has promised to you and to maintain your faith and receive it. This has happened to me; I was miraculously healed back in 1987, and I actually saw the guilty spirit leave my body. The 91st psalm says, “His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” I believe this refers to standing on God’s promises.
I think the important thing to consider is whether you have any right to what you’re claiming. Don’t ask for things that will distance you from God. For some people, even ordinary, reasonable blessings like a steady job and a reliable car can be causes for forgetting the real source of prosperity. And you have to ask yourself whether there is anything in your life that will prevent you from receiving what you ask for. I think repentance and fasting and casting out spirits are very important. Paul said receiving communion in an unworthy manner could cause you to be sick or die; I think that shows what failure to repent can do.
I also think that a truly mature Christian is likely to receive warning when he faces adversity that God will not remove. The Jews in Babylon were told to build houses and get jobs, because they weren’t going home any time soon. Paul was told he would be imprisoned. Jesus knew he would be crucified. I believe Peter knew he would be executed, although I can’t say for sure he didn’t hear it from human beings. I suspect we are headed into an age where we are in closer touch with the Holy Spirit, and people will receive more information from him. There is a spiritual gift called the word of knowledge, in which God comes right out and tells you things. I think we’re going to see it operate more often in the future, as our knowledge and obedience increase. As persecution increases, I should add.
I hope I’m right or at least close to it.
To my knowledge, so far, I’ve experienced five of the gifts of the spirit. I can’t say I’ve experienced the word of knowledge, but Robert Morris says every gift is available to every believer. He says the idea that some people get this and other people get that is incorrect. If so, I suppose a word of knowledge will come if I ever need it. It would sure be nice to know better than to pray for things that aren’t going to happen.Stumble it! Save This Page