2 Thessalonians 1:5-10
Jimmy Throwaway was a strange boy. Whenever a toy got broken, he would toss it into a box and buy a new one. (And he had a box full of broken toys, many of which didn’t have much wrong with them at all.) When he was sick, he refused to go to the doctor. It didn’t matter whether he had a cold or chicken pox, he preferred to suffer alone. And when it came to God . . . Well Jimmy didn’t have much time for him either. He never read his bible, he never prayed, and he only went to church when it suited him.
And as he got older, Jimmy got worse and worse, much to the despair of those around him.
Indeed, when he was old enough to buy a real car, something went wrong with it. But instead of taking it to a mechanic to be repaired, he went out and bought a new one. When he broke his arm, he refused to go to a doctor. Instead he found a piece of wood, made a splint, and put his own arm in a sling. And as he fell further and further away from God, he simply persuaded himself that he was alright, and that he didn’t have a problem at all.
Yes Jimmy was a strange boy. And what’s even stranger was that he lived in a town where he could get lots of help. There was a kind man who loved repairing old toys. He lived in a town where there were several car mechanics—many of whom had very good reputations. There were a number of doctors that he could go to, and some of them were very nice indeed. And he lived in a town where the churches were very much alive; where there were lots of people he could mix with, while learning about God. Yet even though there were so many people who could help, Jimmy never changed.
So much so, that come the time when Jimmy had to go out to work, he was determined to run his own business; he insisted to be his own boss. The trouble is that he knew nothing about running a business, and it wasn’t long before some machinery broke down. Yet even though there were so many people around who could have helped, Jimmy was having none of it. So he wound up the business and started again.
The second time around, something else went wrong—his accounts had become a real mess. But instead of getting outside help, he again decided to close the business down and start again. And he did the same again and again and again.
Jimmy loved to be independent; he didn’t want anybody else’s help. As a consequence, he tossed things away when they got broken, and he wound up his businesses when they didn’t work. And Jimmy was like that—always refusing help—until his dying day.
And that’s sad. Because it doesn’t make sense to toss away toys simply because of some minor damage. It doesn’t make sense to replace a car because of a minor fault. It doesn’t make sense to refuse to go to the doctor when you need medical help. And it certainly doesn’t make sense winding up business after business because you refuse to get any outside help.
And we might think that he was very silly to do all those sorts of things.
However, it also doesn’t make sense to pretend that God doesn’t matter either. That we can face up to life—and life after death—on our own, without any divine help.
After all, the Apostle Paul reminds us in his second letter to the Thessalonians that only those who believe in Jesus will be considered worthy enough to enter God’s kingdom. And that means that people who are independent, and have no time for God now, will not inherit eternal life with him.
And yet how many people do you know who treat God in the exact same way that Jimmy did? How many people have no time for religion at all? And whether you are Jimmy Throwaway or anybody else, that’s just plain silly.
Posted 10th August 2019
© 2019, Brian A Curtis