United Church of God

Letter From Dan Preston - June 7, 2024

Letter From Dan Preston

June 7, 2024

Good evening brethren and happy Sabbath!

Deck Work

A couple of weeks ago I began the process of refinishing my deck.  First, I pressure washed all the dirt off it. For you aficionados out there, I know this isn't the best for the wood, but the deck will probably need complete replacing in a few years anyway, so this is sort of a stop-gap measure to get a few more years out of it.

We were fortunate enough to find a matching stain at the hardware store and get a good portion of it stained before the rains of this past week.  I'm hoping to finish it up on Sunday.

Of course, this got me to thinking: Is refinishing my deck and metaphor for our Christ-like walk? I think in some ways, it can be.

Repair or Replace?

As mentioned, this job is sort of a temporary measure to get a few more years out of our deck. It's not a permanent solution, but it'll let us get by for awhile longer, and avoid spending a lot of money right now.

Do we ever do the same for the problems we have in life? Sure. For example, if your job isn't paying the bills, perhaps you recognize the need to further your education and get a better job to earn more money.  The challenge is, getting that education takes time. So, perhaps in the mean time, we decide to just look for a job that's better than the one we have now, and work on our long term goals later.

That's fine and a reality of life. It might indeed be in your best interest to get a better job now while you work out a plan for a long term education, just the same as it is for me to refinish my deck rather than replace it. The problem comes when we let a temporary fix or repair become a permanent solution. 

A Real Long Term Solution

So what's the spiritual application? Well, the long term solution to all of our spiritual problems is to become a spirit being in the family of God - Elohim. The challenge of course is that, by definition, we can't do that while we're still human.  So, in one sense of the word, we are limited to only 'repairing' ourselves, rather than 'replaceing,' at least as long as we're still mortal.

But with that being said, we must make sure we don't become too content with our 'temporary fixes,' spiritually speaking. If we have a bad habit of losing our temper and yelling and screaming and breaking up the furniture, we shouldn't be satisfied with just stopping short of smashing a lamp. Yes, that's a good start, but needless to say, we need to keep working until we get to the point we no longer yell and scream, and eventually, never lose our temper at all.

Once again, we'll never become perfect in this lifetime. But that doesn't mean we have to be satisfied with only marginal improvement. Let's keep working on improving ourselves each day until we are perfected at the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!