After Grandma died, four-year-old Kirby didn’t know what to make of this visit to Grandma’s church. His mom called it a “funeral.” All the boy realized was that he would have to dress up.
Mom had said, “I know it’s hot, Kirby. Too bad. That’s why you have to wear these clothes. But it’s only for a little while.”
But he couldn’t stop thinking, Today would be better in a bathing suit. It was steamy outside. It was hot inside. Even the flowers bent over in the heat.
At first Kirby settled on the bench behind his mom in the front of the church.
“Sit still,” Mom had told him. Kirby knew how to do that. He sat still for a while.
But Mom was reading from a black book and the words were so hard, she stopped and stumbled. He couldn’t hear her words over the clickety-clickety fans and the roar of the air conditioner.
Boring! Kirby decided to liven things up. First, the boy swung his legs in high arcs. People noticed. Next, he made faces, pulled his eyelids up, then grinned and looked around. Yup! They saw me, all right, but Mom didn’t.
Then Kirby quietly hoisted himself to his feet on the bench and looked around at the crowd. He pumped his arms skyward and moved his feet like a champion street dancer. Hmm. They seem to like that, too. Kirby marched up and down the padded pew, peering over his shoulder to see the crowd’s reaction. Soon, he unbuttoned his vest and twirled it around. He scanned the audience and grinned, but his mom kept reading, her eyes and thick glasses locked on the tiny print on the pages.
I wonder if they’ll like it if I take off my shirt?
But about that time, Mom suddenly she stopped when she saw people looking over her shoulder. She turned and caught Kirby swinging the vest around on his finger as he grinned at the audience. His mom riveted him with a look that would stop even the most hardened criminal from the heist of the century.
Mom pointed to the front row. Kirby served the rest of his sentence sandwiched between his uncles. But in his short period of experience and freedom, Kirby learned how to attention-getting behavior got the people to notice him instead of the truth and enlightenment in the words of the Bible. But no one had been able to hear the words.
Besides the noisy fans and Kirby’s antics, many other distractions steer people away from God’s words and his son, Jesus.
Jesus himself cautions his followers, “Watch out for false prophets. They come in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly, they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs, or thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.” [Matthew 15-17]
The fruit of true followers? “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” [Galatians 5:22-23]
In seeking a church or spiritual study group, if it’s more about Jesus and his teachings from the Bible, and members shine with the fruits of the spirit, you’re in exactly the right place!
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com and her speaking engagements. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]