By J. Wiley Adams
Sometimes small children set some mighty fine examples for the adults in the congregation. Such an example was set recently by a six-year old who did not even realize that he was doing anything out of the ordinary.
We’ll call this young boy, Jacob, since that is really his name. His father was away on a business trip. His mother stays home and tends to her children and the ways of her household. How wonderful to see this happen in this day and time!
It was the time of year for colds, allergies, and sinus problems in Central Georgia. These ailments had run through the whole family as this kind of thing will do. Jacob had been running a fever but it had subsided. Still the little guy felt pretty bad.
But Wednesday night came. Time to go to services. Noting, as an attentive mother would do, that her son felt bad, she asked him if he felt like going. Without hesitation Jacob said, “I think we’d better go.” He knew that if he stayed home that his mother and two sisters would have to stay too to care for him. So the van pulled up to the building with all four of them. You can’t keep a good kid down!
I hope many adults in the church will read this and bow their heads in shame. Surely there are legitimate reasons for not being present but many hide under the ambiguous umbrella of “I feel bad.” My brother’s first gospel meeting in Newport, North Carolina (arranged for him by Harry Pickup, Sr.) would have been a non-meeting because of an awful throat condition that developed almost as soon as he arrived had it not been that the nice couple with whom he stayed “mopped” his throat every night and every morning throughout the meeting. But, preach he did. I mean he did. Sore throat be hanged!
But I cannot let my brother outdo me in this. I have preached a lot of times when I “felt bad.” Once I traveled straight through from middle Georgia leaving on Sun- day after morning services, stopping over for evening services, traveled through Kentucky and West Virginia nonstop, changed clothes at a gas station near Charles- ton, West Virginia, hit the ground a-running at 7 P.M., was greeted by the brethren at the Three-Wells Church of Christ (for further reference on this designation contact Paul Casebolt) and was in my seat ready to start at 7:30
P.M. Drunk as a fish mind you from those crooked West Virginia roads but I propped myself up in the pulpit holding on to the sides of the stand for dear life. Brethren, I mean to tell you I “felt bad.” But, as Weldon Warnock would say, by George I preached and it turned out pretty good the brethren told me.
We teach, and rightly so, that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. This is taught in Hebrews 10:23-26. In this passage we not only have the command to assemble but it also states why and what it amounts to if we do not. We are to stir one another up to love and good works so our faith will not waver. We assemble in order to do this and it amounts to wilful sin if we fail to comply.
Yes, brethren, we all “feel bad” a lot of the time but not so bad that we cannot tighten up our belts and go to services in spite of it.
I agree with my little friend, Jacob. I think we’d better go.