Clash of the Worlds: Defining the Worlds
Continuing from Realizing the Surer Foundation
The whistle having sounded ending lunch at Alex Grater's place of employment, he and his companions depart the break room, they being among the first to enter and among the last to leave.
"So, who's going to win the World Series?" one companion asked Alex, sports talk continually on their lips.
"Oh, that's easy. The Sox," Alex quickly responded. "Since they're undefeated. They've been building that team for years," he went on, proudly boasting of his knowledge of sports. "Now I assure you, this is their year," he exclaimed.
"For years, eh," said another. Then, adding, arousing a good laugh, "They must be a bunch of old men by now."
Undaunted, Alex didn't let the joke faze him. He merely reminded them all, to the glee of that evil one, "I'm as sure of it as my bet on college football's championship game. I won, didn't I?"
Then another jumped in, "Sure, Alex, you won. But it was risky, wasn't it? I mean not a sure thing. You were just lucky."
However, Alex rather enjoys spending his money on the trivial – things that didn't matter. "Here today, gone tomorrow," as he has always heard it said. So, as long as he had it he figured he might as well spend it, even on such extravagance, with a chance to win those big bucks. Hence, so he would have even more to spend on the non-essentials, having taken care of his necessities of course – rent, groceries, utilities, etc., and stuffing some away in his "nest egg," for that "rainy day." But of course, he couldn't miss his sports programs either via his wide-screen TV or the Internet, and other such web surfing.
Nevertheless, he enjoys his gambling, that risk-taking. And playing the Lottery, the risk he favors; since he has the money, he may as well take the risk. "With a chance for me to win even bigger bucks," he boasts to his friend. "And just one day I'm going to do just that, I promise you."
Alex's philosophy of life seemingly set, and there apparently is no turning back, that which he voiced to his girlfriend in that church service years ago in his youth. "When I know what I want I'll get it before it's gone, and then keep my eye on it so someone else won't take it.
"Make all I can, get all I can, and keep all I can – and win all I can." Alex continues his boasting, "As the song says, 'I do it my way.'"
"That's ‘I did it my way,'" a friend reminded.
"Whatever," Alex acknowledged. "I did it… I do it – my way. That's my motto, so I can then take my ease, and ‘eat, drink, and make merry,' all my days, as I heard from somewhere," Alex concluded. "I mean, after all, ‘we only live once,'" Alex seemingly forgetting the teaching from his parents and his Sunday school experience years ago now forgotten, that evil one always lurking over his shoulder helping him never to remember, setting his mind solely on the temporal – that broad way.
Oh, how his parents must continually cry for him before God, their Heavenly Father. They have not forgotten him, their only son, as he is aware of, his mom calling him once a month still living in West Coast, yet now with his sister and her family, his dad, having past from this physical life. His mom assures Alex, her only son, how his dad must look upon him from Heaven's gate with prayerful tears.
With Alex and company, those of that other world – that dark world – who are led astray by that evil one infiltrating their minds with such "ambitions," all that matters is their physical existence. And so Alex continues in his ways of risk-taking, "hoping" to win big.
"I don't have to go to church to 'get on with my life,'" Alex said, even for that one hour as goes one's philosophy of church attendance, "Get in, get out, get on with your life." That mindset of some, hence, to live their lives their way the other six days, giving Sunday to God, and maybe Christmas and Easter, but the rest of the time, the rest of the days, are theirs."
And so, Alex and his friends remain content to continue in their "status quo," discussing those temporal and non-essential concerns, the effects merely of their physical existence. Such talk includes how to make a "killing" in this world to the immediate satisfaction of their self-gratification, with hopes to finally settle down leisurely at the end of their working years with their big "nest-egg" – leisurely gallivanting about the country.
Jessi and Carol excited about getting together for lunch and talking about their faith experiences, helping one another that way, had recognized life's ultimate reality. The Surer Foundation Fellowship was then launched, with just the two of them at first.
As time past, however, others, caught the happening, and soon joined Jessi and Carol. The time spent, brief as the lunch hour was, their discussion was wholesome and edifying, committing their time together to God, their Master – Lord of the universe – and with emphasis given for each member to share their faith walk experience.
By word of mouth the Surer Foundation Fellowship grew. Miraculously, Carol and Jessi could hardly believe what was happening here – the enthusiasm of many of the hospital team, even management, of the interest taken. As more joined the group what began with just the two of them, had gotten too large for individual participation and attention. The fellowship, therefore, split into two and then three and four, according to the number of departments within the hospital. For sure, it was a mighty work of God (the Almighty, Three-in-One Creator) – people of like-heart sharing their faith experience, some coming to the reality of the real world of the Truth and Light for the first time, coming out of the realm of darkness.
"Ah, how dreadful," sneered the powers of the dark world. But, that evil one aspiring a hateful glare merely gleamed knowing that there were those who still refused the Light, their hearts being so hardened, their souls being so tightly gripped by the evil one, he broadening the way with a false illumination to blind their minds to the real light. As in those days of centuries past, when the Israelites were in bondage in Egypt, where Pharaoh would not let God's people go to worship Him, so it is today. With his wily and cunning talk, he confuses their minds, causing them to spread contrary words – lies, gossips, rumors – about the Truth and of those Truth and Light-bearers as well.
Troubling times were ahead for Jessi, yet, what was meant for harm and to destroy only strengthened her faith. Seemingly the evil one was unaware of the strength that was in her – her innermost being. The more the enemy raged, the more the fellowship grew.
The evil one let his fiery darts fly, nevertheless, tantalizing Jessi as well as others of the Fellowship, with worldly pleasures of all sorts, intent on their corruption. Jessi, an attractive young woman, was indeed the desire of any man. But, as she expressed it to one such individual, "My eyes and heart are reserved for another, that one of God's choosing."
"But," he replied, "I just want to have lunch with you. There's a restaurant across the street; I think you'll like it.
Gratefully acknowledging his invitation, she gently refused, "But you're married," she reminded him, noticing is wedding ban.
"So, my wife won't have to know," the opposite hand suddenly covering the wedding ban; he removed the ring and stuffed it in his pocket. "She'll understand, too, even if I did tell her," he replied. "It's just a friendly get-together with you, one of my co-workers."
"But I would know, and most importantly so would my Lord," Jessi responded. "And that's reason enough why I don't think it would be right for me to accept your invitation. And there's no apology here, as the very idea would simply be an unthinkable thing even to consider."
But then she offered an alternative, "I would be interested in having lunch with both you and your wife sometime. You both are also welcomed to have lunch with the Surer Foundation Fellowship."
But, sighing deeply, not willing to even consider her ideas, he shrugged off her suggestions and went his way.
Billboards of all sorts, advertisements on the RTA she rides mornings and evenings suddenly popped up everywhere, enticing her with "things" most everyone needed to make life comfortable and relaxed.
"You gotta have this. You gotta have that. You gotta do this. You gotta do that. You gotta go here and there, " the evil one badgers through such advertisements. "To be living in ease and comfort all the time, making your life simply "hunky-dory."
Jessi, however, realizes that her Lord and Master never promised her a "rose garden." To the contrary, as Jesus had predicted, in this world troubles and hard times are sure to come. Through such times, however, to those who belong to Him, He is everything they need for their comfort, and joy amidst it all.
Again, the evil one enticed her, he relentless in his cause – her eternal demise. He tormented her with those things of her possessions, and such things she might consider having for her temporal enjoyment.
"You can have it all," he boldly claimed, "Everything and anything you want. I'll see to it; get your ‘barns' full for a life of leisure. You would genuinely like that, I know," he said, believing that if only he could get her attention drawn to those things of temporal value, she will be ineffective in the eternal affairs – those things of God which matter most.
"But," Jessi realized, "Real life is not made up of our material possessions and wealth. I'm to pursue God and what He desires for me, and He will see to it that I have everything I need for my physical sustenance and even ‘enjoyment' during my time on planet Earth. What is it," she concluded, reminding him of the Word of God, "If one gains the whole world yet loses his soul?"
Through it all, Jessi knew that her Lord was in control. She kept a prayer in her heart, His Word on her mind, and always that joyful attitude, expressed through her brilliant smile and a remembrance of what God had done for her since early childhood. In the midst of it all, doors of opportunity began opening for her to be a blessing – opportunities to share that real life as God had intended it should be from the very beginning.
But that evil one aspiring that hateful glare, relentless in his cause, gleamed at the troubling times that were coming upon Jessi. Looking down the road, he sensed her demise was close at hand; he wasn't finished with his evil scheme for her yet.
To be continued