Monday, April 15, 2013

MOLLYCODDLED MILSKOPS

A late-night discussion with my husband about an earlier-in-the-evening church board meeting revealed that we both had walked away from the gathering with the same impression, that being that our pastor hadn’t seemed as patient as usual with the people around him. Still recovering from an 18-month battle with cancer, his personal near-death experience has made him keenly aware of his own mortality and convinced him that time is running out; for us as individuals, as well as for humanity as a whole. He seemed to be on a mission to get things done.

“I think he realizes he doesn’t have time to mollycoddle us anymore,” I said to my spouse.

What did you say?” he responded, and suddenly we both broke out in laughter over the strange word that had popped into my brain and come bursting out of my mouth. Maybe God knew there was a vacancy in my list of letters for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge in the space for “M”, and so he provided a suggestion for filling it. We thus ended our serious bedtime chat with laughter on our lips, a simply wonderful way to fall asleep.

I awoke the next morning with a smile on my face and that strange word still mulling around in my mind, so I went to see what the dictionary had to say about it. I found that the verb form of the word comes from the original noun of the same spelling, which means a man or boy who is coddled or pampered; a milksop. Delighted to find another great “M” word, I looked that one up, too, and found it to be a weak, ineffectual person.

But while the words in combination form a great title for my Challenge post, they don’t reflect well on a group of believers who are trying to make a positive difference in the lives of the people among which they live. Surely they don’t describe the Leader they are trying to emulate. Jesus was considered weak and ineffectual by some who point to His humble nature, His willingness to serve, refusal to defend Himself when wrongly accused and attacked, and seeming inability to save Himself from His own death on the cross. Yet those who were closest to Him came to realize that those attributes reflected His true strength. He had such a powerful understanding of Who he was in God and His purpose in being here that He didn’t bother Himself with others' opinions of His character or how His actions might appear to a watching world. He was frustrated by followers who bickered amongst themselves about status and position while failing to look beyond the day-to-day necessities and grab hold of a greater vision.

My pastor likewise has a new awareness that our time on earth is short. He has the similar task of molding a group of ordinary people into a band of believers that will positively impact the people around them. While still loving, kind, and fun to be around, he yet knows that he has to be about his Father’s business, all the time, everywhere he goes.

He simply expects us to be the same.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
(1 Peter 2:9 AMP)

3 comments:

  1. A great reminder that tomorrow is not a guarantee and we ought to make the most of today. Love you!

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  2. A good reminder to use the time we have wisely, and to grow God's kingdom! Thank you!

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    1. Thanks for visiting! Great to meet you. :)

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