Making Time for God
Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment. On the way I had lunch at a Chick Fil-A restaurant. It was my first time ever eating at Chick-Fil-A. It was so packed I had to work to find a parking space. That made me worry that I might be late, but it was fast and the service was awesome. The atmosphere was also nice. My main reason for going was to see if there really was any difference between it and the rest of the main stream restaurants. Having a reputation for a Christian atmosphere it came through. What I like about their chain is that they honor the Word of God and are closed on Sundays. Yet they are one of the top rated restaurants.
There is a certain irony about my taking so long to try one of their restaurants. My job for almost five years was hauling chicken out of Alabama to Indiana. At that time I was reading my Bible 2 ½ hours a day, tithing my time to the Lord, and knew of their reputation, but I was too busy to stop. Then during my years of over the road trucking I had many opportunities, but I always chose the restaurants I knew. My philosophy is go with what you know, especially when it comes to food.
A few years ago I wrote about why the American minimum wage should be fifteen dollars. Sometime later it became a hot topic. It was argued against and talked about by Forbes Magazine and several other major publications. Protest sprang up and people started picketing. What made it neat for me is that after looking at search engines online, the oldest articles I could find were way after my article. That means my article may be the one that stimulated the conversation in the marketplace. That is totally cool, but it misses the point I was trying to make.
It is not about the amount of the wages per hour, but about the standard of living that America has fallen to over the years. One member of a household supporting the household has become the exception not the rule. When I was growing up one person working to support their family was the norm. Sure many families did have both members working, but one person could support their family if they managed properly. Today it isn’t about management. It is about a lack of buying power for the labor a person puts forth.
When I was growing up hardly anybody worked seven days a week. There was nothing open on Sunday. Sunday was a day of rest. A day when the nation went to church and thanked God for the Blessings they had received. There were no stores open to go to on Sunday. There were no Wal-Marts, Targets, Lowe’s or Home Depot. They may have existed when I was growing up, but they had not gone national yet. A few years ago I took out one of my college textbooks from the late 70’s. It had a list of the Top Ten retailers in America. Only three of them were still on the list. Many of the biggest ones today were not even mentioned. They have made it big since that point in time.
It is interesting is that the moral decline in America has been almost inversely proportional to the growth of business in America. When I grew up you had a choice on Sunday between church and fishing. On a good Sunday you did both. The man that used to take me to church with him and his son was a Christian Business man and would never have considered opening his business on Sunday. Yet after church we would often drive two hours to a place called Toto’s, which was a general retailer that sold almost everything. We often went to state parks also. Later in life I remember driving the back roads of the south on Sundays and seeing people spending the day on their porch and reading their Bible’s or playing music.
As the Sunday retail business grew in America. The churches declined. Blue Laws that banned being open on Sundays were repealed all over the country. Lotteries were started in many states. Again it was almost inversely proportional to the decline in Christian values in America. My question is can or could America return to those standards. It seems to me we have reached a point where the decline may not be able to be turned around.
The Bible in Romans 1 says God will eventually be fed up with man and basically give up on him. Verses 18-32 are a pretty good description of the country we live in today. As Christians can we turn our back on evil like it is not there. It is there and it must be confronted. The question is how to do that. We are so far down the road it will take almost physical warfare to turn it around, but if we are at that point in time and God has given up, can it be turned around.
There certainly is a shortage of those willing to stand up and testify of their faith in God. Even fewer are willing to step into the fight. Or try to put forth laws that might bring us back to the point where God is in charge. Where we can honestly say as our money does, “In God We Trust.” Today’s churches are filled with apathy, not zeal. It is a sad thing to say. Yet it says where things are headed unless leaders stand up that can turn it around. Can it even be turned around. I don’t know, but I know saying nothing is a sure way to see that nothing happens. Nothing will happen unless people are convicted and nobody will be convicted unless somebody shows what is wrong. The only measuring stick is the Word of God. That is exactly what everything will inevitably be measured by. Very few people know what the Bible really says in this day and age, but God makes it pretty clear in Hosea, which is probably a good place to leave it. Notice he did not say the heathen or the lost. He said “My people,” are you one of his people?
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.