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Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal



Paul Schneidmill


On Sunday, August 15, 2004, if nothing comes about to designate otherwise, I’ll be preaching a sermon at the 11:00am Worship Service of the Beulah Baptist Church in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, where Reverend Columbus Watson is the Pastor.  The sermon is titled: “From “If” To “Then.” 


The sermon is based on a well known and often quoted verse in the Old Testament book of 2 Chronicles.  In the seventh chapter and the fourteenth verse of that book, God gives a conditional promise to King Solomon on behalf of the nation of Israel.   


The promise outlines what God will do for that nation providing that they do some things first.  Basically,  Almighty God told them that “if” they would do some things, “then” He would do some things.


I’m amazed at how easy the human heart and mind’s tendency to want and receive something for nothing, is so prevalent in our society today.  By and large, like a college athlete going to a professional sports team, we want the big bank draft before one basket is made; the proceeds of prosperity before one pass is caught or completed.     


America is a prosperous nation that got this way because once upon a time, people knew and exercised the fact that service was first given prior to recognition or reward. 


I recall watching a newsmagazine program some time ago that told of a woman who frequented a hospital burn center.  She had no medical or psychological training whatsoever, in that or any other field.  She just had a heart to love and serve unconditionally.  She would talk to patients she didn’t know, pray with them, and spend time with them.  Additionally, the report related that she had never asked for anything in return for her labor.   


Shortly thereafter, the hospital realized the impact of her unsolicited efforts.  Patients were being helped physically and emotionally, recovering at a more rapid rate, and checking out of the ward to continue their lives again much earlier than expected, at a percentage above the national hospital average!  The hospital “then” created a position for this lady, who first showed that “if” she would give of herself, “then” positive results would follow.


Like the Israelite nation of the OT, we must admit we’ve also got this thing backwards: “then” we’ll produce “if” you provide.  We complain about everything from our laws to our leadership to our livelihood, but “if” we’ll stop manifesting and promoting negativity and selfishness, and give of ourselves, “then” things can change for the better.  To make this happen, it will be necessary for a great deal of us to back the truck up, pull out straight so we can begin the right journey from “If” to “Then.”


Well, none of this submission will be found in the message for the third Sunday this August, but if you’re interested in learning how to get from “If” to “Then,” I might be able to help you out.  If you’re in the neighborhood around noon, meet me at 320 South Washington Street, Alexandria, VA. 


I can say this though.  Almost every time I ride an elevator, when it arrives at the floor of my destination, people will get on before I can get off.  Very rarely do I experience the mentality that “if” I’m allowed to get off first, “then” there will be more room for riders when they get on…but such is the “me first” world we live in…


Copyright © 2004 Paul Schneidmill