Today, I have been impressed to write while having my daily devotion upon the topic, “What are you doing?” The quotation is this:
“Let us study more diligently the Word of God. The Bible is so plain and clear that all who will may understand. Let us thank the Lord for His precious Word, and for the messages of His Spirit that give so much light. I am instructed that the more we study the Old and New Testaments, the more we shall have impressed on our mind the fact that each sustains a very close relation to the other, and the more evidence we shall receive of their divine inspiration. We shall see clearly that they have but one Author. The study of these precious volumes will teach us how to form characters that will reveal the attributes of Christ.—Manuscript 81, 1908, 7. (“Words of Explanation and Warning,” June 26, 1908.)”
This is Scripture related; however, my thoughts are regarding the Spirit of Prophecy writings as well.
It is 8:05 am. I woke up a little after 6:30. I hadn’t slept well due to a cold. I could have every excuse I can manufacture to just lay in the bed all day, but I cannot. I will have one meal between now and around 6 pm. From the time I awakened I have my routine I follow: research, study, meditate, and write. This is my life now and it is all I do. I don’t have to concern myself with employment. I’m grateful for this opportunity, rather, blessing. My life is not divided between commuting and working for anyone other than myself, check that, God. He’s my employer. His benefit package is outstanding, too. So, I work for Him from the time I awaken until about 4 pm, sometimes 5 pm depending upon any involvement which is generated because of the work.
During this time, I have gadgets set up to inform me when there is news from the President, opposing party complaints, overall world news, economic, weather and earthquake anomalies. I have read all of the Spirit of Prophecy writings except for the Manuscripts, which I am reading now. Not sure how long it will take me, but I don’t think two years is unreasonable to project. I read both the Old and New Testament, creating my own “study” Bible documentation which gives me the various versions, commentaries (both Adventist and non), where I jot down my notes. I maintain two groups, one of my own creation, “Trump and Prophecy”, as well as administrate a website with the same name, along with another website dedicated to overcoming substance abuse issues, a subject very near and dear to my heart since I was a victim of this for nearly 20 years.
Then I think about you. I think about the difference between you and I. I’m retired. Most likely you are not, and your day is involved with making someone else satisfied enough in your work to return to you a living wage. Nothing wrong with this. However, it is what you do, during that time as well as after work which concerns me and is the subject of this post. In 1996, I worked at Rockwell Automation in Cleveland and although paid rather handsomely, not much work was made available so I utilized the time to actually read all of the major Spirit of Prophecy books. I do make the distinction between her actual writings verses compilations. I believe if I read the writings solely, there would no need to read the compilations. Pretty much what I discovered regarding the Sabbath School Quarterly about ten years prior to that time. If I would read what she wrote, instead of someone else’s idea of what she wrote to fit within a particular context, often taking her writing out of context, then it is just best to remain with what she wrote—period. Haven’t read a Quarterly since. Besides, I believe it was a method to devise a systematic study plan for those who will not, cannot develop one of their own. I have.
I think about what you do after work. After the return commute, getting a meal for yourself and/or your family and the settling down for the evening/day depending on your shift. So, what is it you do, now, before your eyes close and another day is past?
It is what is “not” done which causes the dissonance between you and me? A very close friend remarked, about me, some time ago, “You are so well read…” I now know what she means. Like a “professor” at the university level, those who carry letters behind their name, they are supposed to be “professors” of a particular subject because of their having digested enough material in that field to be able to understand, articulate and introduce new concepts since the original material was written, and give it a “present day” twist. It involves exposure, thinking and the ability to write/articulate. It would seem senseless when a sophomore debates a degreed individual in their subject as if they know more than the “professor”. The same applies in the spiritual realm.
Some are given “teachers, apostles, pastors, et. al.” If there were no value in the gift given then there would be no use for the position. Some have chosen their profession and work diligently and competently, while others are hired based upon the potential to accomplish whatever task. But when you end a day and have not spent one hour in getting a “spiritual” meal which is far better than anything you could have done during that day, then, my friends, you have wasted the day, haven’t grown and yet you think to be competent enough to understand historical references to false and pagan holidays, prophetic musings and other pertinent matter which DOES concern our soul salvation! I can thoroughly appreciate your frustration—now, when maybe I’m doing what you wish you could do. It reminds me of my time in Pivot Ministry, a Christian drug treatment program in Bridgeport, Connecticut when the Director came upon us studying and said, “You fellas have it so good. All day you can pray, study and grow. Do it now while you can because later you won’t be able.” He was right. He was also a student, too, at one time and knew what he was talking about.
No, this was not how I thought I would be spending my retirement when I first began working for IBM in 1973. Retirement was something so far away in the future, but the future came quickly. I can honestly say, today, right now, no matter what I thought then, and what I am doing now, I am so completely fulfilled and would have it no other way. So, when the question is asked of me, “What are you doing?” well, now you know. “Unto much is given, must is required.” I’m given a lot of time to make it useful, significant and important. I’m held accountable for how this time is spent. I watch less television now than I’ve ever watched in my entire life. Why? There’s too much to do. Too much to learn and be cognizant and too much to deliver to others who might be reading this.
Now, you know!
Oh, by the way, it is now 8:37. I’ve written this while having breakfast. Time is never wasted in this job, especially working for the Master, I have.
February 16, 2017