“I am having trouble keeping my eyes open lately,” was not the comment to make to Ed, my neighbor next door. It resulted in Ed announcing that as a retiree I am worn out from sitting around and napping everyday.
It seems strange to me that Ed can see me leaving for work at Walmart, working in my yard, or even climbing a ladder and painting my house, but it is never “work.” Ed claims I’m just getting a little exercise because I have nothing to do. Recently, Ed showed up at the store. There, he saw me pulling out a skid of forty large bags of dog food and he decided that it must be light if an old timer like me was moving it. I should have learned long before now that the only person who works, in Ed’s view, is Ed himself.
Harvesting time has begun and Ed claims that he is working like a hen laying an egg twenty-four seven. Nothing but strain and busting a gut day and night until the crop is in the bin. I said to Ed that he must know what it is like to have trouble keeping his eyes open if he is going non-stop around the clock during harvest time. That is when he informed me that being chased by a bull will keep a fellow awake! I probably would never have figured it out if Ruby hadn’t explained that Ed drinks cans of Red Bull to keep alert during the harvest time. He claims it is like having a real life bull charging after you. Ed says that if you drink Red Bull you’ll be cranked up for as long as you need.
Ed, never one to have a positive word about attending church, claims that if Red Bull was given out to drink at the beginning of service, the congregation would be awake and enthusiastic for the whole service instead of comatose. Ed never tires of being a scoffer towards church and even the person of God. He just smirks when I say that God isn’t done with him yet. He doubts that God always has the last word.
Some of the biggest scoffers towards God have found themselves believers, because God ran over them with His grace and their minds and hearts were opened to the love and truth of God. Many seem to believe it is up to them to take or leave God. Yet, many find God defies human denial and scoffing and they are awakened to the truth that God loves them and has chosen them in Christ.
In the Bible, we are told of Nathanael who was skeptical and scoffing when told that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, promised from God. Nathanael said, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” When Jesus talked with Nathanael later, it became evident to Nathanael that Jesus knew of him and saw him sitting under a fig tree even before Philip called Nathanael to come and meet Jesus. In the Bible, we are also told of Saul, who was zealous about persecuting Christians until he was blinded and heard Jesus ask him why he was persecuting him. God often makes believers in Him out of scoffers. Ed and I may be neighbors in heaven before God finishes with Ed.