HILLTOP CHAPEL NEWSLETTER
“TEACHING PIGS TO SING”
I know that some of you, no many of you, are already wondering as to what kind of mischief I’m up to, with this month’s newsletter. Don’t be concerned. I’ve not lost my mind, although there may be those who might question the veracity of that last statement. I hope you’ll stick around long enoughto check out what the title of this newsletter might mean. The good news is I won’t keep you in the dark very much longer.
Many years ago there was an automotive repair place that had a cute cartoon on the wall that caught my eye and stopped me in my tracks. It went like this: “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of your time and IT ANNOYS THE PIG! On the surface, it is a harmless and smile (maybe even chuckle) producing cartoon. But, if you’re willing to examine the thought a little more deeply, the wheels begin to turn and a much fuller picture comes into focus.
Did you know, for instance, that studies have shown that pigs are more intelligent than dogs? That’s right, folks, Porky Pig is much smarter than Lassie or Rin-Tin-Tin! So, if you tried hard enough, you might just be able to teach your loveable Vietnamese Potbelly to sit or fetch the newspaper. I’m sorry if I’m about to offend some pig lovers, but a I don’t find pigs that attractive or personable. After all the effort, are you going to be really excited about reading a newspaper that’s been a pig’s mouth? I’m just saying… So, what’s the point of this exercise in futility? Teaching pigs to sing….REALLY?
The hardest thing in this world to do, is to explain a vitally important concept to someone who doesn’t want to hear it. How many people, outside the community of physicists, do you suppose would be excited about spending an evening listening to Albert Einstein explain the theory of relativity? I know I’d much prefer watching paint dry. Is his theory vitally important? Yes it is! Many things that we take for granted in our modern world, would not have been possible without E=mc2. However, after about two minutes of listening to equations you don’t understand or care about, you’re going to be bored and annoyed.
Many times, we have the idea that some individual needs to hear about Jesus, but we are reluctant to open subject for fear of boring or offending that person. Even though you know that the individual really cannot live without Christ, you hesitate or just flat do nothing. Unlike the pig, however, people have been created with, as Billy Graham so eloquently put it, “a God shaped hole in their in their hearts that only He can fill”. People are searching today for something, anything, to fill that void in their lives, but nothing except for Jesus will fit. The wisdom of the natural man says, “I can satisfy the desires of my heart with art, music, travel, cultural pursuits or diversions of a more daring, dangerous or destructive nature.” The Bible tells us: “For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. ‘Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” I Corinthians 1:22-25. We look at the difficulty of a given situation and say, “I can’t do it, Lord, it’s too hard!” God says, “With Me nothing is too difficult; nothing is impossible.” Satan’s cruelest trick is to cause Christians to believe that no one wants to hear the message of salvation and that, when we try to explain it to someone, they’ll be annoyed with us and even become hostile.
The truth is that just the opposite is very likely to happen. Because God the Holy Spirit is constantly doing His job, preparing people’s hearts to receive the Gospel message, your job becomes a “piece of cake”. You become the conduit through which the message of God’s love, grace and mercy, flows right into that person’s heart and life. It’s not complicated, it’s not hard and it’s not frightening.
Pigs might get annoyed if you try to teach them to sing, but a lost human being, desperately searching for the truth that will set him or her free, will listen and be delivered, instantly, from death into life eternal. The great songwriter, Stuart Hamblen, wrote: “It is not secret, what God can do. What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you. With arms wide open, He’ll pardon you. It is no secret, what God can do.”
God does all the work; all you have to do is show up with the Good News!