Tom Allen recently retired from a short career as a teacher and a much longer career as an industrial technician. He and his wife, Sandy, have three sons and six grandchildren. Sandy and Tom are recent converts at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Chattanooga, TN.
Pascha has come and gone, and we might be tempted to adopt an attitude that allows us to drift back into habits and patterns best avoided. We normally think of New Year’s Day as the time to make resolutions for changing our lives, however slightly or greatly, but I suggest this post-Pascha time as an even better season for personal adjustments. Allow me to give a personal experience as analogy and metaphor.
When first I came to this area, I was promoted to a higher level of my company’s lower-level management. It was a mixed blessing. The sales force here had not done much to frighten, or even annoy our competitors; the district was on the brink of dissolution; lay-offs were imminent, and morale was low. But the scenery and local culture were far superior to our last posting.
“Time will tell,” my supervisor told me, trying to help me assess the chances of success here.
After a few weeks, I dreaded the incipient consequences of that relentless adversary—time.
One evening I stayed late at the office to polish my résumé. Just as I was about to give in and go home, one of our young salesmen burst through the back door, full of excitement and waving a thick stack of papers in his hand.
“I’ve got the full contract!” he yelled.
He finally calmed down enough to tell me he had a tentative approval from a major company for new equipment going to all of their U. S. facilities and most of their foreign offices and plants. It all sounded wonderful. It sounded too good to be true. I had seen other exuberant young salesmen wave tentative contracts around, only to discover that one of our competitors underbid us, or otherwise out-maneuvered us.
“Time will tell,” I thought.
During the next weeks, our hopes began to revive. Rumors abounded that the contract could be valid. The young salesman never faltered. Technicians whose jobs had been endangered began to hint about friends I should interview for the possible new job openings.
We all held our breath one afternoon when the salesman brought in an initial purchase order and a signed check. If the check cleared the bank, we were obligated to order millions of dollars in inventory and begin installations immediately. We would need to hire new techs, rent warehouse space, lease a delivery van, etc., etc. Our administrator deposited the check the next morning, and he began hourly inquiries on the bank balance. Nothing happened the first day, or the second, or the third. The first inquiry on the fourth day showed a $1.4 million increase in our balance. The check cleared the bank!
The Promise of Christ
Jesus has arisen from the tomb. In some ways, His resurrection is like one enormous check that has cleared the bank. All of the promises from God have been validated. History has an entirely different significance. The future looks less menacing. His resurrection is proof positive that our Lord is serious about doing business. Time really will tell, and time is no longer an adversarial thing. Time has been renewed and given to us as a clean and refreshing asset of the Kingdom of Heaven. We do not need to fear the consequences of time, but we do need to make the most of it.
Jesus’ resurrection proved the validity of God’s promises from the ages to the ages, and we must now act in such a way that everything around us receives the positive and life-giving breath of the Kingdom of Heaven. Just as our company experienced a drastic turnaround when the customer’s check cleared the bank, we must now turn ourselves to the business of the Kingdom—forgetting our former woes and fears. We are partners in the greatest enterprise in all of history; let’s enjoy it to the fullest. The Lord does have mercy. Let us live in such a manner that He is able to apply His abundant mercy to our lives. Our spiritual economy needs His resurrection from hour to hour, not just once a year.
Yes, I know that our business experience is an inadequate metaphor for relating the importance of Christ’s resurrection, but there are thousands of daily events and problems that should remind us of our connection with an enterprise that has been proven valid. Let us seek the Kingdom of Heaven.
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