Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cleansing and the Coffee Cup

As I was in church this past Sunday morning, I was contemplating just how much I was in need of cleansing.  Not externally, but internally.  The Bible describes us as vessels, earthen vessel and even jars of clay.  Now we have a pretty good dishwasher, but sometimes if the cup is really dirty it requires soaking or even pre-cleaning in order for the dishwasher to be successful.  

Paul the apostle described the typical types of vessels and their purposes to his disciple Timothy: But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.  Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”  Paul also told Timothy about the relationship between the vessel’s cleanliness and its utility to the Master.  

This brought to mind a story that my Dad had recounted to me about his interchange with a crusty old mess sergeant.  Well over a half century ago my Dad was a young Army lieutenant with the additional duty of mess officer.  His duty would normally entail looking over the ordering of rations, accounting for funds, sanitary conditions of the facilities, managing manpower, and lastly (and the very least) monitoring the quality and tastiness of the chow.  It would also require regular visits to the chow hall.

As the story goes, my Dad went into the chow hall early one morning, grabbed a coffee mug from the dish rack and was preparing to fill it with good old GI mud.  Right at this point my Dad said the standard-issue aforementioned crusty old mess sergeant seized said mug from the unsuspecting and green lieutenant and began screaming, “YOU SEE THIS LIEUTENANT, YOU SEE THIS?”  “See what?” my Dad asked.  The mess sergeant answered, “This mug is cracked lieutenant, it’s cracked!”  “But it still works” protested the young lieutenant.  “It doesn’t matter” barked the mess sergeant, “those cracks harbor disease that even the dishwasher can’t kill!”  And with that the mess sergeant smashed the mug by hurling it into the mess hall floor.

Needless to say, that story made quite an impression on that young lieutenant.  So much that it has been passed on to his son, and subsequently his grandson, both of whom have served in that same Army.  

So what’s the point?  It’s two fold.  First, there is a point where something is no longer able to function for its intended purpose. Not that it has outlived its usefulness or that it is merely beyond economic repair, but that it is beyond being fixed.  Such that not even all the king’s horses or even all the king’s  men can make that mug useful again.  

As I look at our modern political system I see two parties postured against the people. I am forced to ponder the distinct possibility that the system has simply reached the point that there is no dishwasher capable of removing the mess.   It seems to me and millions of others we’ve reached the point that Mess Sergeant Trump looks like he’s got the answer – smash it! 

Are we there yet?  I hope not.  But I do think that Mark Twain was on to something when he said, Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.  Maybe even more so when he said, “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”   Either way, something’s got to give.

And the second point, there is good news for those vessels seeking to be sanctified.  An old hymn holds the answer, “What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus!


gamegetter II said...

“those cracks harbor disease that even the dishwasher can’t kill!”
The mess Sgt. was/is correct.
I spent 20+ years running hotel and private country club kitchens as the executive chef.
The cup-and the current fustercluck we have in this country needs the same treatment as that cracked coffee cup.
Let's just get it over with-let it crash and burn-a phoenix always rises from the ashes.
The left in this country is at the point where it's now a good -vs- evil choice,not a left/right,or democrat republican.
The left is evil,has evil plans,and they plan to be our masters.
We must not let evil win.

RichJ said...

Despite the founders good intentions, I think it is way past the time where mankind can solve this. As I see it there is really only one option. Jesus explains:

Matthew 10:32 “Everyone, then, who acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father who is in the heavens. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will also disown him before my Father who is in the heavens. 34 Do not think I came to bring peace to the earth; I came to bring, not peace, but a sword.

Get straight with God. Read the Bible. Preach the gospel. Its going to hit the fan in a way no prepper can possibly fathom.