Monday, July 6, 2015

I'm Ron, but you can call me Gomer

Gomer Pyle, USMC
One of my favorite TV programs back in the black and white days was Gomer Pyle, USMC.  We remember Gomer from the Andy Griffith Show, as the helper at Wally's Service Station. He wasn't much of a mechanic but his real qualities were pumping gas, checking your tires, and cleaning windshields. 

It was big news in Mayberry when Gomer announced he had joined the US Marines. Everyone was excited and proud of Gomer......everyone except his Drill Sergeant, Sgt. Carter.  We might say that Gomer was Sgt. Carter's "thorn in the flesh," because everything Gomer was taught to do ended up being done wrong. While all the other recruits would be improving in their maneuvers, Gomer seemed to be going in reverse. 

In one episode of the show, Sgt. Carter was training his new recruits to stand at attention, then parade rest, the proper way to salute, and the basic commands of marching in formation. The troops were looking pretty good with straight lines, all in step, following their verbal cadence.  Everyone, that is, except Gomer.  So with all the volume of angered conversation, Sgt. Carter was doing what every good Drill Sergeant would do. He was yelling at Gomer. 

Easy going Gomer, with a smile on his face, replied to the angered Sergeant, "Did you notice, everyone is out of step, except me?"   I thought that was a funny line in the show. Sgt. Carter, however, didn't find it humorous, and Gomer found himself on K.P. duty.

It probably wasn't the intent of the comedy show to divulge one of the greatest problems in the Christian community for every age.  Have you ever felt that you were the only one in step and everyone one else was losing their mind? 

Many of the problems that plague our churches today, come from the heart of a church member or perhaps a leader who thinks their way is the only way. There is an immediate friction that results and brethren become immediately at odds with each other.  Without trying, we have demonstrated a faulty picture of the unity God desires.  Can unity and diversity exist at the same time?

We know that squabbles occurred between the disciples of Jesus. The book of Acts tells us of differences between Paul and Barnabas.  If the heavy hitters in the Bible can't seem to get along, do we stand a chance?  The answer is yes!  In spite of differences we can still find unity, and the key ingredient must be love. There are times when loving the brethren needs to become more important than having our way. My name is Ron, but I confess there are times I should be called Gomer. Don't get ahead of me if you are thinking everyone at your church is a Gomer, except you! We all need a fresh dose of the truth expressed in Ephesians 4, verses 3 and 16.  " Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."  "16 From him(Jesus) the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work."


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