Ride as far as you’ve a mind to, shoot straight when you must, but lie to no man and let no man doubt your word.”
–Louis L’Amour (The Man From the Broken Hills)
“The guilty walk a crooked path; the innocent travel a straight road.”
–Proverbs 21:8 (NLT)
There was a hilarious movie produced several years ago and the title is somewhat prophetic. “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad World.” This world is getting crazier by the day so it is important that you do your part to keep your small portion somewhat sane.
One way to do this is to be a person of your word. Say what you mean and then follow through. Don’t be a mamby-pamby or join in with the “snowflakes.” Take life as it comes, trust in the Lord and keep your gun oiled and handy.
I read the other day about another one of those unsung heroes of the faith. David Marks was fifteen when he left home with only a dollar in his pocket to follow God’s calling and preach the gospel. He preached for the next twenty-five years. “He rode one horse 19,000 miles, preached to thousands, organized churches throughout New England, published books, wrote articles, taught school, and worked diligently in opposition to slavery and in support of foreign mission. Then he died from sheer exhaustion at age 40.”
One experience he faced was when he rode into the town of Ancaster, Ontario. He announced he would be preaching in seven minutes in the park. He asked if anyone had a text he would like to hear and a man mockingly said, “Nothing.”
“Marks immediately began preaching on ‘nothing.’ God created the world from ‘nothing,’ he said. God gave us laws in which there is ‘nothing’ unjust. But, Marks continued, we have broken God’s law and there is ‘nothing’ in us to justify us. There will be ‘nothing’ to comfort sinners in death or hell. But, which Christians have ‘nothing’ of their own in which to boast, we have Christ. And in him, we have ‘nothing’ to cause us grief, ‘nothing’ to disturb our peace, and ‘nothing’ to fear in eternity.” He finished his sermon, mounted, and went his way.
Sometime later, Marks returned to the town of Ancaster. “This time a larger group assembled, and the meeting house was opened to him. David preached ‘something’ to them. He said there is ‘something’ above all things. There is ‘something’ in man designed to live forever, but there is also ‘something’ in us that makes us unhappy. There is ‘something’ about the gospel that reverses our unhappiness, ‘something’ that gives us hope. There is ‘something’ that will disturb the impenitent in death, but ‘something’ resides in Christians that the world can’t understand, and ‘something’ in eternity to give us everlasting joy.”
This uneducated circuit-riding preacher had “‘something’ to say–and ‘nothing’ to fear.” (notes and quotations by Robert J. Morgan)