“But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” God.
Today they are having the funeral services for Al Daniels. Never heard of him? I’m not surprised. He was a regular man in all that glory and beauty.
Al Daniels was a member of the Montclair Church of Christ at the same time. My most vivid memories of him were when I would drive him around. Every Sunday I’d take a twenty-minute drive with him to drop him off at his home. Every Wednesday I would take about a thirty-minute drive and drop him off at work. It may not sound like much but it helped out Brother Daniels.
And so today they are celebrating the life of a child of God. The book on Al Daniels is now closed and he awaits his eternal reward, whether for good or bad.
Life is complicated. In the Garden of Eden man was given one task and that was to tend to the garden. Man was never given ownership of the garden but rather stewardship. There is a big difference. Ownership would imply that man could do whatever he wanted as it was his. Stewardship means that man must answer to the Master.
Of course, man has miserably failed at his task. Instead of living in harmony with nature, as part of a greater whole, man has practiced dominance. In a greedy foolish quest, man has exploited Mother Earth and her resources and has gained very little in the process. When we destroy the glorious nature of Earth for profits it is a crime against humanity and a sin in God’s sight.
Man was never given jurisdiction over man. In the book of Samuel, the Israelites were asking for a king like all the other nations had. God didn’t want to give them a king as it wasn’t his intent for a man to Lord over his fellows. In fact, God told Samuel that when Israel asked for a king they were, in fact, rejecting God.
Man has strayed so much from the straight and narrow that lie is accepted as truth and crimes are accepted as justice. We justify war and the slaughter of innocents, as some form of self-defense. In America the reality of war hasn’t had the impact it has overseas just yet. It is true that we are damaging the bodies, minds, and spirits of our warriors. Man wasn’t meant to kill and destroy, it contradicts how God built him. Man was designed to love one another. When we violate this basic tenet bad things happen. We are using a screwdriver as a hammer and in the process causing great damage. We lose twenty-two veterans a day to suicide, that alone should tell you something is wrong.
But the world is what we make it. We can make a difference. We can stand up united and stop the tide of destruction. This will take ordinary people standing up for what is right. It will take a good amount of courage and involve risks, but it can be done. We can stop the juggernaut of greed the is slowly crushing everything in its lustful desire for mammon.
So I turn my eyes back to Al Daniels. When I drove him around we used to talk. What I remember most of our conversations was him talking about how we should sing in church. He didn’t like that upbeat style but preferred the more traditional, slower way. In all honesty, I can’t remember more of our conversations. Al and I drifted apart over the years. Montclair had a split and we wound up in different congregations. I never had a problem with the man in all my life. He was a meek, nice person as far as I was concerned.
The sad part of planet Earth is the potential that we don’t live up to. We have everything we need and more to make this a wonderful place. Unfortunately, greed is getting in the way, and greed, like the Hydra, has many wicked heads. And the Hydra has tongues that lie.
Rest in peace Al Daniels may God smile upon you.
I have a book of sonnets that deals with death in a positive spiritual way. I invite you to explore Sunset Sonnets. https://amzn.to/2FnoHiS