The Body Builder
By Captain Terry Camsey –
That’s the kind of testimony I remember from the earliest days of going to the Army. It was as though only a very few people had something to say and the “something they had to say” was invariably couched in exactly the same words, year after year.
Please don’t misunderstand me. It is not that I doubted this was their testimony or that the same words did not, in fact, sum up a vibrant experience. It did, however, sound as though the needle had gotten stuck in a blemish on the surface of the record. There, I’ve done it…
…given away my age again! The records I am thinking of were the 78 rpm ones made of some black material and played with metal needles that had to be changed for each playing. The surface of the record (was it vinyl or wax? I forget) was easily pitted, or held traces of chewing gum if carelessly handled. Just enough of an impediment to cause the record to say, “Happy, Saved and Free…Happy, Saved and Free…Happy, Saved and Free…”
Naturally, we kids picked up the “jargon” quickly so that if one were bold enough to respond to a request for testimony in a public meeting, what could be more natural (or obviously politically correct, although we didn’t use the term in those days) to say than “Happy, Saved and Free”…whether we were or not!
I’ll tell you what. I really enjoyed seeing Oprah Winfrey on the goggle-box when I was over for the Congress. I was entranced by her notion of encouraging people to find and journal five things to be thankful for each day. On one program I saw a lady interviewed who had really bought into the concept and said she now spends every day actually looking for things to be thankful for.
I don’t now whether or not she was a Christian, but it certainly put me in mind of the words, “Count Your Blessings,” because that, in fact, was what she was doing…whether she recognized the source of those blessings or not.
Now, I don’t mean the song that Bing (“the old groaner”) Crosby used to sing. Remember the one? As I recall, it went, “When you’re weary and you can’t sleep, Just count your blessings instead of sheep, And you’ll fall asleep, counting your blesssss…” Sorry, I didn’t mean to drop off like that.
No, the one I have in mind is that in the Song Book,“When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done…”
There’s nothing new under the sun, is there? Can you imagine what would happen if every Salvationist looked for five blessings a day and kept a diary of them? Project that forward to Sunday when the officer asks for a testimony, and every single attendee has 35 new things to be thankful for each week!
“Happy, Saved and Free?”
I don’t think so. Isn’t it time for each one of us to really see how God blesses us and to share that vibrant testimony with others? Can you imagine the impact on non-Christian visitors?
Let’s not fall asleep. Or, if we have, let’s wake up and smell the roses.