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SHORT-TERM ENTHUSIASM


The story is told of a minister who was full of energy and enthusiasm for the Lord. One day he went to the hospital to visit one of his parishioners who was critically ill. The minister entered the room and saw the man lying in bed with a whole host of tubes and wires attached to his body. Without any delay the minister strode to his bedside and began to exhort him to be of good cheer. Soon the man started to wave his arms. This encouraged the minister, and so he exhorted him more and more enthusiastically. Finally the minister ended with a rather lengthy prayer. At the final "Amen" the minister opened his eyes just in time to see the man reach for a pad of paper and a pencil. Quickly he wrote something and handed it to the minister. Then the man turned his head and died. The minister was deeply moved to think that his visit to this man had occurred in the nick of time. Then he looked at the pad and read these words: "You are standing on my oxygen tube." Sometimes it is easy to misread people’s actions. Not all arm-waving is an expression of exuberance. Not all laughter is the laughter of happiness. Not all tears are tears of sorrow. Not all shouting is the shouting of triumph and victory. And not everyone who says, "Lord! Lord!" will enter the kingdom of God.

Edwin Peterman

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