Summary: A sermon adapted from Clovis Chappell out of his book, "If I Were Young". Focuses on Jesus as a role model and how to avoid being unbalanced.
I’D Avoid Being Half-Baked
Adapted from “If I Were Young” by Clovis Chappell
Waiting for God was a British sitcom that ran from 1990 to 1994. You can see it on PBS from time to time. "Waiting for God" takes place in a British Retirement home. This program brings to light the treatment of the elderly, religion, the meaning of life, and love. The Program centers around two elderly and cynical people, Tom Ballard and Diana Trent. Tom Ballard is a gentleman deposited by his son into the retirement home. Although cynical, his character expresses this with good humor and resignation, philosophy, and plays upon the ageist attitude that old people are helpless and eccentric, leaving one to wonder whether he is actually mad, or just pretending to be. The other half of this pair is Diana. A worldly woman, who sees the effects of society’s attitude toward the old now that she is of retirement age and, in contrast to Tom, spits venom any chance she gets. When these two are not fighting with each other, they are trying to find new ways to make life difficult for the Retirement Home manager Harvey Baines. How sad that these two people are reduced, after a lifetime, of doing nothing of purpose and living bitter lives.
A. Clovis Chappell at one time was a famous preacher. When he retired, he wrote a series of books. Mr. Chappell asks himself the question, “If I were young again, what would I do differently?” Out of these thoughts came a series of 19 sermons that he compiled into a book and called, “If I Were Young.”
B. # 8- I’D Avoid Being Half Baked.
C. Hosea 7:8- Ephraim is a flat cake not turned over.
D. What is wrong with Ephraim (the northern nation of Israel)? One answer that Hosea comes up with is that they are half baked. They are like a pancake that is well done, maybe burned on one side, but entirely raw on the other. In spite of the fact that they have good stuff in them, they are for all practical purposes useless.
E. We know that Ephraim is not unique in this. On an individual basis, we meet people of this kind every day. They are not balanced. They lack being well rounded. They have too much of one thing and too little of another. They are people who go to extremes. They are often burned to a crisp on one side but raw on the other. They remind us of a pancake not turned over in cooking.
F. It is good to have a body that is symmetrical. Denzel Washington is said to have the most symmetrical body in Hollywood. In other words, if you took Denzel’s body and divided it down the middle we would find that both halves would be the same physically. It is unfortunate that stroke victims suffer many times on only one side of their body. It makes using the body difficult and sometimes nearly impossible. It is good to have a body this is balanced.
G. WE also need a balanced mind. Those who do not end up in the psychiatric ward.
H. WE also need a balance between the physical and the mental. WE all know of women who have a beautiful body but a weak mind. The sayings about dumb blondes come from this situation. This might have been the case of Gomer, Hosea’s wife. She was beautiful in body and so men greatly desired her. She married Hosea but she still liked the attention that men gave to her so she ran off and had affairs with these men. When she came back to her right mind, she realized that Hosea really loved her and so she finally stayed with him. A good body but an unbalanced mind.
I. WE also need to have a healthy balance with the emotions. To have much heart and too little mind is often to be so soft as not to do much good. Many of these people are used and abused. On the other hand, to have a mind without any heart is to be as cold as ice. Many problems of the world are caused because people don’t care and don’t have a heart.
J. Most people, from childhood, are unbalanced in some area. As they get older, these tendencies, these extremes, are more pronounced. I am thankful that the Lord doesn’t allow us to live beyond 80 years, how crazy we would be! Make reference to Diana and Tom.
K. Think about nations and cultures. I read a book called, The Story of Stupidity. It talks about how the virtues, the things that made that society become great, are the vary things that bring about that societies downfall. Think about the Roman Empire. How did they become great? Through their disciplined armies and through an unwillingness to change. They remained basically the same for a thousand years. How did they fall? Their armies ruined them and they refused to make changes to correct these problems. Think about the United States. What are characteristics that make the United States so great? An individualism that helped to carve out the wilderness and an ability to change to meet the times (usually to make money). These things will probably lead to our downfall? Our individualism is ruining the family and we are changing so much that we are throwing out traditional values.