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home : religion : inspirational reflections September 21, 2019

7/13/2019 12:11:00 AM
Going Out With My Boots On!

Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Cherryville, NC

Have you ever wondered how our “old sayings” became “old sayings?” Take for instance, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too?” This sage old saying has never made any sense to me. Why would you want cake if you couldn’t eat it? The whole idea of baking or buying a cake is to eat it. I have never made a cake to just look at it.

Another saying I have heard my entire life is, “Take it like a man!” When I was a child and would get hurt and tell my mother about my pain, she would tell me to be quiet and, “take it like a man!” What is that suppose to mean to an 8-year-old child? If being a man means you never cry out when you are in pain, then being a man is “tough” business!

How about the old saying, “You made your bed now sleep in it?” I have never wanted to make up my bed only to lay on top of the covers! I honestly believe the only reason my wife and I make up our bed is if we are involved in an accident away from home and family members come to check on our house, then they would see our house is in order. I wouldn’t want anyone to criticize me, while I am in the hospital, by whispering to other family members, “Vince’s house was mess when we went inside…He didn’t even make up his bed!” Am I the only one who has thought these things through to their logical conclusions?

One saying that makes sense to me is, “I’m going out with my boots on.” This means that I want to be working and useful for the Kingdom of God as long as I am alive.

However, this saying took on another meaning altogether several years ago. I went trout fishing with one of my deacons up to Wilson’s Creek. We arrived at the creek at sun up to catch the trout by surprise. In order to catch the big fish you must fish the big holes, and if you are familiar with the “gorge,” you know what I’m talking about.

There is always an excitement in the air when one starts out trout fishing, simply because there is always the chance to catch a real big trout! After a few minutes of getting all of the gear adjusted, we were in the water. My deacon called out to come where he was fishing because he saw some trout. I was on a big, and I mean big rock that sloped into a deep, and I mean deep, dark hole.

In my excitement, I thought I could save time and walk across the rock instead of backing up and going around it. I was wrong! I slipped into the hole, which was full of water. No problem, I have fallen into creeks all over North Carolina and never been hurt, until now. I immediately tossed my fishing pole upon the bank believing that in just a few seconds I would retrieve it. I was wrong once again! As I tried to get out of the fishing hole, my hip waiters filled up with water and before I knew it I was beginning to sink to the bottom. I told myself to keep calm, but that really didn’t help anything because I still could not get out of the fishing hole. Then the strangest thought came to mind, “Vince, you said you always wanted to go out with your boots on!” Then I prayed, “Lord, I did not mean my fishing boots!” I have always wanted to be a fisherman of men, but not fish food!

What did I learn from this fishing trip? First, I can’t walk on water. Second, fishing boots are good to keep water out and are good at keeping water in. Third, what looks safe one minute can change to something dangerous. Fourth, the next time I want to eat fish I will go the Red Lobster. Fifth, a good deacon can save your life!

Psalm 139:9-10 says, “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

The sixth and final thing I learned is that you better make the most of each day God gives you, for it could be your last. Are you ready? Think about it!

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