I just walked in the front door of my house. I live less than a mile north of Purdue University and its football stadium in a nice middle class neighborhood. Tonight the Indianapolis Colts played an exhibition game against the Saints I believe. Anyways following the game there was to be a fireworks display. When I heard it begin, I hurried out into the front yard and sat beneath a tree to watch. The colors were spectacular and I was impressed by their brilliance and being so close I felt the concussion of their explosions.
Some of the shells went off behind a solitary tree that must have been a block away. Sometimes, even those of you that would find it hard to believe, I can get a little choked up. As I watched the fireworks dance around this tree, I began to praise God for the intelligence that he has given man. How we can light up the night sky and array it in a myriad of colors. Yet His loving creation of this tree, rather than obscuring my view, seemed to be watching it with me, and using the wind through his leaves to make the colors bright.
My eyes misted up as I began to wonder how long the tree that was watching the display with me had been standing and how many fireworks shows it had seen. In a moment I was experiencing a real blessing, thanking God because I was unable to attend the 4th of
July since I worked that I had got to see one now.
Then there came a lull in the display and off in the distance, I began to hear another sound, a sound that interrupted the silence normally heard in my neighborhood. The sound of car alarms warning their owners that they were under attack. It jolted me somewhat from my happiness. I began to wonder why must man fear other man?
I then began to see a part of the answer, we have lost the fear of God. After the brief lull of only a few seconds, the fireworks started again, once more I was fascinated by the their luminescent tracings across sky, but the sound of the car alarms that I had never heard until the silence, were now hidden beneath the roar of the fireworks. I could hear them still. At the
finale, I was impressed by the light show! But as quickly as the sounds of launching rockets had forced me to stand up so I could see around my tree friend, the rush of fireworks came to a halt.
I was left with only darkness and the sound of car alarms, reminding me that no matter how hard humankind tries to make become happy, that until he makes himself right with God, we will always carry fear of other men. My tree friend has stood long enough to have seen probably all of the last century. He knows of nights with no car alarms.
Will our children? I think sin works just like those car alarms. As long as we fascinate ourselves with it, we never hear those car alarms. But in our lives there will come a point of awakening. We may return to the fireworks of life, but we will no longer be unaware of the stifling presence of sin.
– Contributed by Vernon Wallace, pastor of Milton Church of God (Holiness)