Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

In trying times, major on the majors


July 15, 2020

At the risk of ruining the illusion, I’m going to break the fourth wall and share a secret. It’s my own secret, but I’m not alone in it.

That is, just because I’m serving as a pastor, that doesn’t do anything to fill me with special powers or some kind of mutant intellect.

Sure, I do my best to study, as the Bible says, to show myself approved. You’re also supposed to do that, though.

I strive to pay attention to the world around me, and compare what I see to what the Scripture says I ought to see. Again, every believer should do this.

I’ve been a diligent student of the Bible for over 30 years. I know what it says and doesn’t say, but I’m not arrogant enough to think I’ve got it all mastered. I haven’t unlocked everything, or exhausted its depths. I mean, that’s a big book!

I’m trying. I have no desire to be wrong, but I bet I am at some points.

Happily, I don’t think Scripture requires perfection in those who are hoping to serve God. (In Jesus Christ, God was perfect in our place, on our behalf. His performance record becomes ours when we believe, an idea gloriously revealed in Romans 4.)

However, the Scripture also warns of a stricter judgment to come for teachers. Leadership is a sobering proposition.

A man came up to me after church recently, referencing the bombardment we all receive of expert opinions that are in conflict with each other, and are obviously, hopelessly, politicized.

He looked at me with very tired eyes and said, “What I want, all I want ... is something true. Y’know?”

I nodded in a manner I hoped would communicate knowing.

I had spent the week, yet again, poring over competing articles dealing with COVID-19, trying to sort things out. I happened to take calls from a young missionary and a Christian radio talk show host, both wanting advice about how to navigate the craziness we face on several fronts. Full disclosure here: there were moments it was overwhelming.

In my daily reading I came across Ecclesiastes 1:9: “That which has been done is what will be. That which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the Sun.”

Take a breath. Calm your mind by focusing on what is true — the word of the Lord. He knew all about COVID-19 when he inspired Solomon to write that text.

We are confused. The Creator of all things is not.

What we’ve been given to do is actually pretty simple. Love each other. Be patient. Forgive. Trust God. Look out not merely for your own needs but the needs you see around you. Let your light shine.

As much as it’s in your power, live in peace with everyone. Don’t answer a curse with a curse, but bless even your enemies.

Times of confusion are no match for the believer who majors in these things.

Gordan Runyan is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Tucumcari. Contact him at:

[email protected]


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