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Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional for January 22

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Paul Dickson once said, "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig." I used to work on farms during the summers of my teen years. One farmer, Robin Wright (no not THAT Robin Wright...this was a guy 20 years older than me), raised hogs. Every now and then I would have the chance to work the hogs with him. It was difficult work but fun, nonetheless.

One particular day we were trying to get the hogs to go through a run to a chute and into a pen. One sow wasn't cooperating. She kept turning around and going back the other way which created confusion for the other hogs. Robin yelled to me, "Next time she turns around teach her which way she's supposed to go." No further instructions, just "teach her". I had never taught a hog before and was somewhat curious as to just how one does such a thing. Then she turned around again.

My teaching lesson was more of an object lesson. I objected to her going the wrong way and she objected to my objection. The result was I learned how to get lower than a sow. Yep, I got right underneath her and pushed her straight up in the air and turned her toward the proper direction. The rest of the day I tried hard not to show how much that little collision hurt. But hurt it did.

It's the threat of hurt that keeps people from trying things they've never done before. Like "casting your pearls before swine." (Matthew 7:6) There are a lot of people in the world who live unclean existences. They are lost. Thing is, they don't know it. They are going the wrong way and have no more a clue than that sow I tackled. In fear, we resist casting our pearls of righteousness toward them on the likelihood that they'll turn on us. But cast them we must, for their sakes.

That is why Jesus went to the cross. That is why you and I must teach pigs to turn around...and to sing. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Colossians 3:16 It may be frightening, and they may get annoyed, but keep at it. Their songs will be sweet.

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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019
the Second Week after Epiphany
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