Category Archives: Experts

Experts – not always a model of decorum

Ginger Rogers once attended a fashionable buffet dinner in Hollywood.  She discovered the most delicious chili she had ever tasted.  Her friend Harold Ross once attended a black-tie dinner in Hollywood.  There he had a nearly-unbelievable experience.  He finally found his place-name-card and sat.  Among the chattering group he found an especially talkative lady.  When he donned spectacles and read her name, it was none other than Emily Post, maven of all proper etiquette.

Instantly on guard, and on the spot, he glanced at her to determine his own behavior.  A hard dinner roll posed a particular problem.  Not daring to touch his until she modeled the correct procedure, he saw her break the roll in half, scattering crumbs over the butter saucer and on the tablecloth.  A waiter removed the saucer, but what would Post do with the crumbs?  Simple:  she used her name card to shovel them into her cupped hand, then, without breaking her conversation, “popped them into her mouth….”  Then rubbing her hands together, letting any loose crumbs fall away, she continued talking.  Ross followed her procedure exactly.  If Emily modeled it, he could emulate it.  Ginger:  My Story, 85

Which offers a point of integrity in the Gospels.  The disciples had no idea what to do when hungry and walking in a wheat field.  Because Jesus said they could, they harvested heads of grain, husked the dust and pods away, then popped the grain into their mouth.

The difference between Emily Post and Jesus:  as a mortal, and despite her obsession with etiquette, she took the instinctive steps anyone else would to remove bread crumbs.  As God’s Son, Jesus offered unbroken consistency in thought and behavior, whether walking through a grain field, feasting on a fast day, or healing on the Sabbath.  Cut mortal experts slack.  In the end, they’re just like the rest of us.  Honor Jesus.  In his end, as in his beginning, he’s the Father’s Only Son, and always lived the part.

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Experts – make mistakes

20 plus years in his craft.  Veteran of search-and-surface divers dead in deep waters.  Welcomed as one of a few divers to explore the dreaded and dangerous underwater caves of New Mexico, Famous as a deep-sea diver.  Expert in teaching the skill to learners and neophytes.  Veteran of off-limits since 1976.

He and his partner approached a passage into a chamber.  The partner swam through.  He was supposed to stay out.  He followed instead. Then the veteran divers found problems compounded by mistakes into catastrophe.  They got separated.  The partner turned the way that led out.  He turned into an unmapped area that led nowhere.  He died trying to escape.  Age 43.  Though a seasoned expert.  San Diego U-T, 4/1/16

Spiritual perspectives.  One, we’re never so skilled we don’t miscalculate; or look when we shouldn’t, or not when we should.  We can go years with no serious mistakes, then suddenly fall, fail, sin egregiously.  King David reigned 20 years before fatefully taking a walk on his roof one late night.  When we think we’re immune to failure we suddenly turn take a wrong turn into trouble.

Two, those New Mexico caves were sealed as being too dangerous for even the best practitioners.  It’s likely they’ll be sealed again, this time for good.  As perhaps the most dangerous in the world, they cost too much to explore.

Spiritual warfare may be as dangerous to Christians as those caves to divers.  Nevertheless, God challenges his people to go where danger exists, threatens and attacks Christ-centered evangelism and pastoral work.  In the first century, God’s children made the moral cesspools of Roman life their target—Ephesus, Rome, Corinth, Antioch, etc.  God left in place all the horrors of heathenism JUST SO he could overrun Satan’s outworks with preaching and abolish his fortresses with one-on-one evangelism. Christians may find places closed to them.  Not because God has forsaken the places.  Not because he fears putting his people there.  And not because he can’t find disciples to go and serve there.  Only because they’re so tenaciously aggressive for Jesus Christ that Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers to keep them OUT!

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