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Moving past the “wild side”
pastor corner

Pastor Jim Jackson

Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church

Could it be that the Devil keeps putting it into my head?  Sample the wild-side keeps popping in my noggin.  To be honest, as good Revs. should, I sometimes contemplate what it would be like to make a brief trip to the the wild side, having struggled to be a good fella all these years.  Sure, church folks like to think we are nearly perfect.  Dream on brothers and sisters;  our feet are made of clay just like yours.

Folks, it’s attractive because it looks so good.  Throw away all these inhibitions, forget the religious restraints and hit the wild side of life.  The Reverent Billy Graham once remarked: “I never get tired of the Lord’s work, just tired in it.”  Hey, I  can identify with that.  

You gotta remember how the wild side must have appealed to Solomon.  Who can estimate all the wives and wealth he enjoyed?  How adventuresome it must have been for him to throw all his father David’s accumulated hoard away.  

It can be mighty tough with people watching you all the time.  Of course, they all know as Paul wrote: “All have sinned and come short…”  But they probably think we Revs. have only holy thoughts.   Brother I. R. Righteous of the Deep-water, Baptized in Fire, Semi-Holiness Church has given me some advice.  He said ya can’t keep the birds from flying over ya head, but you don’t have to let ‘em nest there. I hate to admit it but those birds are trying to make a nest on my ole bald head. 

Lots of guys with Jimmy as their first name have made short trips to the wild-side  No, I won’t give their last names.  But do we need another Jim or Jimmy like those guys?  They are famous for saying: “Brothers and sisters keep those cards and letters coming.”  Letters are in envelopes and envelopes hold what keeps them on the air, say nothing about expensive cars and huge houses, hairdos, makeup, trips to the spa, fine eatin’ joints and such.

I do stray, but just look at this fun-loving pair of rebels a tooling down backroads on that Harley.  They’ve got what I never had—dew-rags, tattoos, ear-rings, big wallets hanging on a chain wind blowing on fabulous physiques, cigarettes and faces that tell of freedom and fun.  What’s that like?

But somebody with good intentions reminded me of that prodigal son.  How the far country looked so good to him.  A trip he chose to take.  Thanks to his dad’s money, he had it all—wine, women (according to his big brother), and wealth.  But it changed all too soon and he found himself wanting to steal the piggies’ food and friendless: (“And no man gave to him”).  Suddenly, the straight and narrow of the old farm looked delicious to him.  He shucked his bad thoughts and behavior and went home.  There he found love he couldn’t buy, forgiveness, reinstatement, and re-engagement in the good life he had left.

As for me, maybe a Harley.  Mom doesn’t ride or smoke.


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