Show Me You’re Serious

Letters to a State | Volume 3, No. 2

The closest I’ve ever come to dying may have been in 1980. 

A strep infection had gotten into my heart cavity and I was in serious condition.  I was a Youth Pastor in those days and I’ll never forget being frighten, really frighten.  I knew something was seriously wrong with me and I sensed that it may even be life-threatening.  (I later learned from my doctor that I was correct.)    

I did something that I had never done before and have not done since, I asked Sonja to call our pastor. 

Get the picture…

Its 2:00 or 3:00 o’clock in the morning and Sonja calls our boss and pastor, Reverend George Alford.

Within a very short time, Pastor Alford came into my bedroom, fully dressed in his Sunday morning best – suit and tie, white dress shirt and dress shoes, hair combed…the whole enchilada. 

He came in and spoke a few comforting words and had prayer with me and soon was gone. 

Thankfully I survived that ordeal but I have never forgotten Pastor Alford’s visit and I’ve thought of it every time I’ve been called out for an emergency – day or night.

My point is not to press upon you some sort of dress code.  But it is to point this out: I remember nothing that Pastor Alford said.  I don’t remember a word of his prayer, but I do remember how he showed up, how, even though he had been roused out of bed in the middle of the night, he took the time and made the effort to look like my pastor when he showed up. 

Showing up in “full dress uniform” showed me that he took me serious. 

I saw my relationship with Pastor Alford more as a boss to employee relationship and, as a youth pastor, I felt I was probably more of a nuisance than a highlight for him.

But when the chips were down, when I needed a pastor, he was there and showed me he was serious about being my pastor.    

Isn’t that what we all want?  Isn’t that what God wants?

The way that looks will vary from situation to situation and from generation to generation.  But we can all tell when someone is taking us seriously and when they’re just giving lip-service. 

God can tell too.

Illinois Church of God, when you show up at church, let it be obvious that you take it serious.

When you show up at home, at work, at school, at play, through the chores and courses of your life, let there never be any doubt that you are a serious and devoted following of Jesus Christ.

You may not be the best, the first, or the fastest. 

You may not be called to sit at the head table or be given a corner office.

But let there never been any doubt that you are serious about Jesus Christ and those He came to die for.

In the end, that is all that really matters.  Get that right and the rest will take care of itself. 

Running2Win for the Gospel’s Sake,

David L. Kemp

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash