In December of 2003, I interviewed with Mike Linn for a job as a sales representative for Arkansas Insulation, and I really needed the job. I needed to leave where I was, and they needed for me to leave. Work was a real challenge, emotionally and financially. Joe Kidd, Mike Linn’s brother-in-law, had recommended me for the job, and I will forever be indebted to him. Joe and I had been friends for a long, long time; and, in fact, he was my “best man” when Malia and I got married. I’m sure that I never would have gotten an interview if it had not been for Joe.
You see, being a sales representative for Arkansas Insulation involved calling on residential contractors (home builders), soliciting the work that we could do on the houses they were building. The products and labor we had to offer involved insulation (obviously), gutters, soffit and fascia. To be totally honest, I didn’t know anything about any of that! I did not know soffit from fascia, how to design a gutter system for a house, or how you went about insulating a house. I was surprised to find out that not every wall in the house was insulated, that there were different thicknesses of insulation, that those different thicknesses indicated different degrees of effectiveness, and I had no idea what R-value meant. Not exactly what you would want selling your products!
Over the 12 years that I worked for the company, I probably sold as much insulation as any salesman in any of the 8 offices of the company. Now, there were other salesman that sold more (a lot more) windows, gutters, soffit and fascia than I did — but I was an insulation salesman. How did I learn about insulation? Well, a local salesman by the name of Jim Foster got stuck with teaching and training me. I road with Jim for 3 or 4 days, and he taught me how to do it — just like he did it. He had to explain to me that there was a difference in the cold wall and the knee wall, what size stud took an R-19, and what depth the code required for the attic insulation. There were times that I had to go back and ask questions, times that I had to go back and remeasure the house, times that I made mistakes and the installers took the wrong material, and so on! There were houses, big houses, that it would take 4 or 5 hours to measure; and when I got back to the office I was not sure of what I had done, or if I had done it right. There was one house in Prairie Grove that I worked on all morning; and then, went back to the office and said that I needed someone to go with me, because I was totally confused. There are just some things that take time to learn; but, I was determined to learn it.
There is a story that is found at the end of Luke’s Gospel, that I find to be very intriguing. It begins like this:
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16, ESV)
I don’t know if these two were part of the 12, but they were followers of Jesus, and they were distressed by what had happened. A part of their distress, was that they did not understand why this happened, it wasn’t what they thought would happen. Listen to what they told Jesus:
…they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. … (Luke 24:19-21, ESV)
This was not supposed to happen to the Messiah, and now He cannot redeem us from the occupation of Rome in our country. Everything is all messed up now! They went on to say:
…Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. (Luke 24:21-23, ESV)
Jesus must have been heart-broken, that they had not understood all the things that He had said to them. He said:
“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27, ESV).
I don’t know about you, but I would have loved to hear all of that!
Later, after He had revealed Himself to these two, and they had gone back to tell the 11; Jesus appeared in their midst, and part of what he said to them was:
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (Luke 24:44-47, ESV)
Our task is to learn the message of the Messiah, redemption, resurrection, repentance, and forgiveness of sins; and proclaim it to all the nations. Like I said, I would like for Jesus to interpret all the passages for me, and open my mind to understand — but, the Father, has left us a written revelation to share. May we have the energy and desire to learn this message, and share it with others; as I did to learn about insulation and sell it. Obviously, we recognize which is the most important. Peace.
(This week has turned into a very busy week — with medical appointments, deadlines, holidays, etc. This post is one that was written about 9 months ago, that was not seen by very many people. I am reposting it today, in hopes that it is a blessing to you. Bill)