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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Polar Express

(Leviticus 19:32)  Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

Sometimes I think respect and honor have gone the way of the pipe organ. When I was growing up, those qualities were such a fundamental part of life that it would never cross one’s mind not to show respect and honor, especially to elders.

It seems to me that during the rebellion of the 1960’s a spirit of overfamiliarity came in and consumed one of this countries natural treasures. That treasure is the respect for one another and especially for older folks and those in authority.

Perhaps the reason the subject of honor was addressed in our text in the first place was to remind us of how God feels about it. I also find it interesting that our text seems to imply that there is a relationship between respecting old men and fearing God. As a matter of fact, the way our text is written it could also imply that one learns how to fear and respect God by practicing on older men.

If that is true then does it mean that one’s salvation is in question where there is no respect or does it only mean that one only knows God in an immature way? It would certainly seem to me that if one does not respect and honor God, then how can they really know Jesus as their Lord.

Overfamiliarity is a spirit and one of the most subtle traps of all time because it can devour one’s basic ability to show respect and honor on any level. That would also mean if one cannot show respect and honor, then their ability to show true love is also in question.

I was watching a car show last night on television and it showed a museum of one-of-a-kind cars. Standing alone was a sports car and the man being shown this car gasped for breath when the owner said to him “Would you like to sit in the car?” “Oh yes!” the man said as he took off his shoes and gently opened the car door and eased down in the seat. The owner then replied, “I know you respect the car.” The man sitting in the car asked the owner the value of the car and the owner said “My wife turned down twenty-five million dollars for it.”…In other words, it was priceless.

This brings me to my own personal experience that took place recently while I was in Owosso, Michigan. I was asked if I wanted to go to the train museum and see the train that Tom Hanks used in the Christmas movie, “The Polar Express.” I excitedly said, “Yes!”

I was absolutely awed by the sight of this great train, but not necessarily because it had been used in the movie, “The Polar Express,” but because it was so massive and beautiful and powerful. As I stood looking at Steam Locomotive No.1225 it seemed to demand a respect because of the important role it played during World War II, It totaled five hundred thousand miles hauling materials back and forth across the state. You might even say that Steam Locomotive No. 1225 helped win World War II.

As I stood there that day looking at this massive steam engine, I was inspired by the fact that it is still in use. It no longer hauls materials up and down the track at sixty MPH as it once did, but it still does haul sightseers up and down the track at forty MPH.

I seemed to notice that those who respect things such as the expensive car in the museum and Steam Locomotive No. 1225 are more likely to know how to show respect for other things (such as the elderly). That being the case then it is not hard for that person to also show respect for God because that level of respect and honor resides in them.

Father,
My desire is for respect and honor to not only reside in me, but to be manifested through me in my daily life toward others and especially toward You. Lord, my respect for things such as Steam Locomotive No. 1225 are not in the same category as my love and respect for You because You are due all honor.

Amen

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