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Monday, June 24, 2013

Out of the Two comes One: Part Twelve

Sometimes my two worlds collide. Sometimes they explode into and upon one another. And sometimes they overlap to the point of blurring. There are times when, at the very last minute, just before you’re ready to go 10-42—end of shift—something will happen and the entire rest of your day is shot. 

The same is true in the ministry. There are times when you are just settling in to enjoy the evening; or you’ve just gotten into bed when the phone rings, and everything you had planned just got pushed to the side. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a complaint but it is a fact. 

It is when we stop and realize the reasons for which we endure the trials of life that really give us, or reveal to us, the value of the time we have spent. When I am called upon to work late or deal with a particularly trying event, a family or individual in crisis, it is then that I see what value I can possibly be to that situation that adds life to me. When I can bring a peaceful resolution to a family or direct a soul to those peaceful green pastures that David wrote about in Psalm 23, then all the trouble seems very much worth it. 

We cannot avoid the troubles and trials of life, but we do get to decide if we will be made by them or if they will destroy us. In the end, when my two worlds collide, I am left with the choice of whether I will be the cop who’s a preacher or a preacher that’s a cop. Either way, the choice is mine and I choose life. Think about it….Just saying.  

Friday, June 14, 2013

Out of the Two comes One: Part Eleven

Too many times I have found myself in situations where I wish I had been better: a better cop, a better minister, a better husband and father, a better man. When I look at the volume of the penal code, all the laws that are used to govern this great state –and I only deal with the criminal code, I am humbled by the great amount of information that there is to know…let alone do.

Then I consider the Bible, God’s penal code, and I see in its 66 books all that make up the fullness of its counsel, and again, I realize it is a great volume of information to try to master.  As I’m working the streets as a patrolman, or even when I prepared cases as an investigator, I would think of all the possible lines of attack or of defense, depending on my starting position.  I stop and just think about the expectations of those depending on me to do my job correctly so that they can then do theirs. 

Now consider this as a minster: I have not only the burden of knowing what the Bible teaches, but the obligation to live it in real time for all those around me to see. They watch and see where I step and, if I do my job correctly, then they, too, can know where it is safe to stand. When I’m working as a patrolman, the citizens also watch me, hoping that I will be an honest purveyor of the laws of this city and state. Why? Because when they see my fellow officers and me, they feel that their own existence is made just a little bit safer, a little bit more secure.

For this reason, every time I strap on to ride out on patrol, or steal away in quiet prayer and Bible study, I am pleased to be that guy who gets to stand in the gap for the rest. It really is a great honor and in its own way a big deal. Think about it….Just saying.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Out of the Two comes One: Part Ten

There are many situations that begin as though it were just another day.  But like it often is for me as a police officer who is also an active Christian, the true battle was happening beneath my level of immediate awareness. I once had a neighbor, to which I’d been witnessing to about the Lord, and one day at the end of a very long shift, I looked up to see him standing against the wall. I hope you never experience this, but believe me when I say, it is a very bad feeling to look up and see a person that you’ve entertained in your home and been entertained in his, handcuffed and lined up on the wall of the recently arrested.  

This image brought to my mind the day when all the unsaved would be found standing before the Great White Throne, and I wondered how many people I knew who would be in that fateful crowd.  Too many times, as I execute my duties on the streets, meeting with several people from all different levels of our society, the image comes back to me again. 

When I confront a violator, whether it be for a mere infraction or a felony offense, it always amazes me that some are defiant up to the end, while others admit their fault and are really sorry. Now, I’m not the county magistrate, and I am truly not God, but I can see how much better it is when we freely admit our guilt and seek forgiveness rather than arguing for why we should not be held accountable for our violations. Remember the real-time life lesson I referred to earlier? Well, think about it. If we can be found guilty and condemned for breaking the mere laws of man, how great an offense it will be when we, if we are unrepentant, have to stand before God. Remember, I’m not the judge and I’m not God. I’m just a cop who is also a Christian looking forward to the end of shift. Think about it….Just saying.