Hello everyone! We’ll be unavailable tomorrow, and my good friend T. H. Cayne is working on next week’s devotion. If you have kids or you enjoy children’s stories, you’ll love next week’s message! In the meantime, here’s a post I wrote a little over 2 years ago. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”
–Matthew 13:44-46 (NLT)
Faculty and honored guests, I am humbled to stand before you today and present this paper. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I would like to address some of life’s most difficult questions. While much greater men in history than I have tried to do this, please bear with me, for I believe that I hold out the beacon of hope which mankind has searched for since the beginning of time.
Some time ago, something inexplicable came over me. Sitting down at my desk, I turned on my computer. Gentlemen, I couldn’t type the words fast enough! Although I deleted them several times, the thoughts kept nagging me. Therefore, I wrote down the following question that I would like to address today. I hope that you will share in my excitement, since my book is forthcoming.
The question which I have labored over night and day is: Are junkyards really a thing of the past?
I will attempt to explain why they are not extinct in the following pages, for I am sure that junkyards contain many of the secrets of life.
Since many of life’s treasures can be found in junkyards, I am proposing a new science called junkology. Yes, you heard me right–junkology. I would like to see this new science taught in all of our major universities. I submit to you today that if P.H.D. means “piled higher and deeper”, this is not a stretch. I would like to take pains to describe junkology to you, and give you a proper introduction.
Like archaeology, this new study would be composed of digging. Unlike archaeology, it would not be restricted to past civilizations. Instead, the study of junk would focus on our present problems. The goal of junkology would be a search for practical solutions by examining things that people have thrown out. It is my contention, gentlemen, that these findings could be implemented, leading to a utopia. If my hypothesis is correct, problems like poverty, world hunger, and crime could all be irradicated, and the national debt would be a piece of cake.
And now, here is some background concerning this proposition.
I acquired my love of junk at an early age. My father would take me to a local junkyard, and search for objects of value which had been discarded. Once he sound something interesting, such as an old door, he would sand it and repaint it until it looked as good as new. He would then install it wherever he pleased.
Similarly, the proper use of junk can erase the problems of humankind. It would remind us of our past mistakes before we repeated them, and usher us into a new historical era. Thank you.
And now, I would like to entertain questions from the floor.
This young man in the front row looks like he has something important to say. Sir, please state your name and question.
“My name is John Smith, and I wonder if what you propose isn’t already being implemented in a different way.”
“How is that?” I ask him, with some suspicion creeping into my voice.
“Well, according to the Bible, God has been recycling junk for years. You see, my life was like that junk yard you just spoke about in your dissertation, but He cleaned it up.”
When I gave no response he continued, “God isn’t through with me, and He can do the same for everyone here.” And with that, the enthusiastic man sat down.
chagrined, I accepted what he said as a challenge. I consider myself to be a true scientist, so stepping down from the podium, I decided to research the matter further.
Having heard this gentleman’s arguments, I would like to present my findings. So even though the head chairman thought it most unusual, it was my request that all of you have access to a Bible during my speech. If you will open your Bibles now, I believe that we can properly dissect this matter, and engage upon a knew quest for knowledge together.
While Jesus didn’t come to institute the brotherhood of man, He did tell us to love one another. Remember how He washed the disciples’ feet in the upper room? To me, this symbolizes the washing that we all need, from coming into contact with a filthy world.
Jesus wants to pick up and take what He has found on the scrap heap of life, and He continues to wash feet today. In other words, He cleanses and polishes our lives through the power of His Word.
If you read verses 44 to 46 in Matthew 13, you’ll see that Jesus is willing to purchase an entire junkyard full of trash, in order to own the valuable treasure hidden within it. Just as my father cleaned and polished the treasures he found in the junkyard, Christ sees you as a diamond in the rough, and He uses the twists and turns of life to make you more like Him. Each of us needs to yield to Christ more and more throughout our days on Earth, and we do this by submitting to Him as our king.
And so ends my fictional university speech. The study of junkology may not exist yet, but I’d like to leave you with some completely true and relevant advice.
If you feel like you’re walking through a junkyard filled with problems and disappointments, maybe you are only looking at what is broken, instead of the One who can fix our shattered and dusty lives. Let Christ walk with you and take the helm of your life. As you go through your day, your focus will change. You will see things which previously annoyed you and wore you out, in a new light.
While we can’t always understand God’s ways, now we can see purpose in the tools that he uses. Instead of being filled with junk, you can choose to fill your mind with God’s Word. take His promises into every situation with you, and while things may look bleak at first, God will make a way through them. Just as He turned the water into wine, you will see Him turn something you thought to be hopeless into something positive. I can tell you from my own experience, that He can truly take worthless junk, and turn it into gems for His glory.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.