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The times, they are a-changing, as well as are traditions. What was fashionable in the oldies but goodies Fifties generations is no longer fashionable in today’s fast-moving high-tech world. Seems as if our common sense went to bed and never woke up.
Why are our modern-day young people suddenly so hard of hearing that they have to sit next to each other and communicate by texting? Is the family table no longer big enough for the entire family to sit down and eat? Why must the radio require matching ear plugs? Why are neck scarves required in the heat of summer and shorts in the dead of winter? Why has “thank you” and “please” been forgotten? Why are grown-ups no longer perceived to be glamorous? Why can’t the young walk two blocks to school?
I was fortunate to have had the benefit of my grandparents' recollections of life. I could sit and talk with them for hours. I thought it unreal that one grandpa could recite the alphabet backwards. With the other, it was as if he had a human calculator for a brain. To my young mind, all these particular traits were amazing, yet I don’t think either went past the sixth grade of school.
Speech jargon was totally different. Neither grandparents ever seemed to lose their down-home sense of humor, as well.
I lived with quotes such as “Bright eyed and bushy tailed,” Nip It in The Bud,” “Don’t take no wooden nickels” and” Wooden nickels don’t bounce”, “Have you lived here all your life? Not yet!”
I can even remember Grandma once giving a little hand written X-rated note in a card to Grandpa, which was a no-no. “I looked all over for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for you, but then I realized it was right under my nose.”
And I’m sure you could go on and on, as well.
Once I asked my Grandpa, the father of a dozen, "If you had it to do all over again, would you still have kids?"
"Oh yes," he replied, "just not these twelve.”
And Grandpa never failed to give me a "case quarter" allowance. Oh, you don't know what that represented? Well, surf it out on the modern-day internet dictionary.
Well, you get the gist of our changing times and the eroding of our Christian values. I trust you will continue with this little light-hearted fiction entitled” Sleepy Time Joe.” Exciting, how this fictional character worked it all out!
“There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from His. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11)
I am so weary from the mental drain of fighting it out with my biblical students. Why can’t I relate to them as I did in the past? Their modern-day lingo is really getting to me. I just can’t figure them out. Are they really this disillusioned with the Bible or is it simply the language gap?
Well, I’m home now. I'll try to regain my sense of composure with a few of Mom’s famous homemade chocolate chip cookies, dipped in an elixir of warm milk. I just know I’ll sleep well. It worked; I was out like a light. That’s when it all began, this unusual dream.
Suddenly I was awakened by a strange noise in the neighboring guest bedroom. It was a loud singing noise. I hesitated at first, but then decided to investigate. As I entered the bedroom doorway, I made out the words of the song. I know this hymn, it’s one of my favorites. But why me, why now?
“God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.”
Slowly slipping in, I saw the most unusual sight. A man was lying in my guest bed, covered up to his chin, with his long white beard spread loosely over the covers. And he was wearing an old-fashioned bright red nightgown and matching night cap.
Since I was a student of Theoretical Philosophy this dream or vision didn’t seem to make any sense to me. I simply couldn't analyze its meaning.
“Who exactly are you? What is your business here in my house? How did you get in here? And why all the singing, pray tell?" I demanded.
“Well, my good man, folks call me by many names, but you may call me “Sleepy Time Joe,” he answered
“OK, Sleepy Time Joe, whatever are you doing here in my house, in my bed?” I repeated.
“Well, my good man," he said, "I'm just trying to get a little sleep.”
“What has happened to my nice comfortable flannel quilt?” I asked.
“Well, I’ll tell you, my good man, I was dreaming of eating flannel cakes, and when I awoke, the quilt was gone," he replied, laughing.
“That’s not funny! You owe me for a quilt. That quilt was very special to me. It was given to me by my wife just before she was called into glory,” I responded harshly.
“Well, my good man, I’d rather owe you, than beat you out of it,” he laughed again loudly.
“OK then," I said. "But what’s with the ruler lying on the bed by your side?”
“Well, my good man, I just wanted to see how long I slept," he shook the bed as he laughed.
“And what’s with all that mess on the plate by the bedside?” I continued.
“Well, my good man, I was making pancakes. I couldn’t get them to flip over, so I just scrambled them,” he replied, still chuckling.
With this remark, our conversation seemed to suddenly wind down. I had had enough.
“I don’t know who you are, or how you got here. But one thing for sure, you're just full of it, aren’t you?” Why do you keep repeating that old worn out phrase of “my good man?”
He answered. “Not really, my good man, your ice box is nearly empty. Why there was no left-over country fried chicken nor any sweet tea."
“I’ve had it with you. Your kind of picky for a free loader,” I responded in hopes of cracking through his levity. His humor was just too much to handle.
And without saying a word, he was gone. He completely vanished without warning. The singing had ended and the conversation was gone. So were all his old-fashioned quips.
I wasn’t in my guest bedroom, but was lying there in my own bed. Why this unusual happening came about is beyond my imagination. I’ve had many dreams and visions, but none like this one. Wait, what’s that note lying there on my bedside table, neatly tucked away in my Bible? Picking it up, I began to read.
'Dear My Good Man,
Just a note to thank you for the peaceful sleep. (Psalm 127:2) I trust you learned a valuable lesson, from my zestful visit. You need lighten up a bit, as well. There is a time for all events under the sun, including laughter. (Eccles.3:4)
Like many others, you think that you are not getting enough sleep. There aren’t enough hours in the day for you to get accomplished what you wish for. (Eccles 2:22-23) Rest would be welcome.
You’re in good company, for even your Creator took a break when He had finished His Creation. (Genesis 2:1-2) You see, our loving Creator offers us true rest that refreshes not only the Spirit but calms the soul, in spite of all the chaos around us.
So, sweet dreams, my good man, you deserve them. And crack an occasional joke in the interest of godly worship. Light-heartedness is good for the soul. Please read (Hebrews 4:1-11). Amen!
Your Friend in The Gospel
Sleepy Time Joe'
Was this a dream, a vision, a semi-conscious episode, or a real-life adventure? Was he a fairy, an angel, or an intruder? Was he divinely sent, or not? It’s been years and I just can’t seem to shake it, nor the feelings it left me with. One thing for certain, it really changed my heart and life.
I get it. My Creator uses all means to get His message across, to hold our human attention. I’ll never again deride my pastor for his spiritual illustrations, as they are certainly divinely inspired. And I do need to lighten up a bit with my Bible students, as long as I don’t compromise the faith and the true gospel. (I Cor. 15:3-4)
“Pastor, pastor, please pick up, we need to talk!" Amen!
I trust you enjoyed reading through this little fiction parable. It’s earthly story, with a heavenly meaning. Did you figure out its central plot?
What happened between this Old Time Religion professor and his dedicated students? Did the sudden lack of communication between this Bible teacher and his students need reviving? If so, what steps could be taken? And did he take them?
Was the sudden appearance of the unexpected character of this blog simply exhorting the tired old professor to lighten up a little? Should he rest and relax, enjoying all that his heavenly Father has in store for him?
And where did Sleepy Time Joe come from? Was he real, a divine character, or simply a figment of the professor’s imagination? Did he get his enthusiastic point across?
The bed certainly was the Old time Religion professor’s place of refuge. The old worn out professor was ready for sleep, but did he get the much-needed rest? And was this message divinely delivered to him?
I trust you did read all about it in this unusual faith blog. So, what’s your opinion?
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