‘If you love me, keep my commandments.’
Recently, I drove out into the county to visit one of our members recovering from surgery. As I approached her house, I saw blue lights flashing up ahead. A small, red-brick church was on the corner, and the front yard was full of people standing around.
I thought “That must be some large funeral.” Then, I realized it wasn’t a funeral, but a movie shoot. I pulled into the driveway next door to the church, and when I entered the living room, my member and four other visitors said, “You just missed it. We were sitting here talking and this car pulled up and Dolly Parton got out and walked across to the church.”
They followed her over and got to meet her and have their pictures made with the celebrity. They showed me their pictures standing with Dolly, and said, “You can get yours made, too. Just go over to the church and find Dolly. She was real nice.”
So, after visiting briefly, I walked over to the church, meandered through the people standing around and strolled into the sanctuary. They were calling in groups of extras and seating them in the pews. I looked, but didn’t see Dolly.
So I walked out and then entered through another door, walked down the hallway behind the sanctuary and came in on the other side, and, there was Dolly sitting in a chair in the middle of the podium, facing the congregation.
There was this movie person standing by the door, and I asked, “Do you think Dolly would mind if I got my picture made with her?”
The lady said, “I don’t think this is a good time. That’s her bodyguard standing up there by her. Why don’t you ask him?”
About the time I was getting my nerve up to walk up to the security guard, another lady came up to me and said, “Sir, this is a closed shoot. You’ll have to leave.”
I said, “Okay, I’m out of here.” And I left.
Actually, to be honest, I didn’t really care if I got my picture made or not, but I’m up to a challenge, and since these ladies successfully got their picture made with a bona fide movie star, I thought I’d give it a try. Plus, I generally do what women tell me to do. I learned a long time ago that life is easier when you just do what you’re told. Can any of you guys relate?
Like the time right after Christmas when my wife asked me to return a purchase to Ross. I wasn’t real excited about fighting the after-Christmas crowd and all that traffic, but I went to the Pavillion, and, boy, it was packed.
I stood in line at Ross for probably 20 minutes, and when I got to the clerk, she opened my bag, looked at the receipt, and said, “Sir, this didn’t come from Ross. You can’t return this here.” It came from some other store on the other side of the Pavillion whose name I can’t remember.
I was pretty embarrassed, and the first thing that came out of my mouth was, “I’m sorry. My wife told me to return this to Ross, so I returned it to Ross. I always do what my wife tells me to do.”
The clerk laughed and the lady behind me said, “Bless your heart.” I bet she went home and told her husband about my cooperation.
I was thinking, if I am so willing to practice simple obedience and just do what women say do, how much more willing should I be to obey what God says to do?
John 14:15 reads, “If you love me, then keep my commandments.”
Another related verse is John 14:23, “ . . . If anyone loves me, He will keep my word . . .” How much we love God can often be measured by how well we obey God. When God looks at our lives, can He tell that we love Him?
Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church. The church gathers at 352 McDonough Road, just past the department of drivers’ services building. Join them for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.