Saturday, August 9, 2008

Going to the Doctor

I have recently had a lot of time in doctor's offices. That time has allowed me to catch up on some reading (a lot of reading), and to do some thinking. I did some reflecting on my early days of life and where I was in church.

When I was a boy we attended Pentecostal churches. First the United Pentecostal Church and then the Assembly of God. In those environments various manifestations of the Holy Spirit are welcomed and encouraged. In fact, we longed for, prayed for and hoped for the Gifts of the Spirit. In many cases people without the Holy Spirit's gifts, such as prophecy, wisdom, healing and especially speaking in tongues, were viewed as somehow less spiritual than those with the gifts. Often worship services became show and tell time, when everyone made a example of their own spirituality by displaying their personal gift(s).

One of the crucial gifts was/is the interpretation of tongues. I remember occasions as a child when someone would give a message in tongues and then we would all wait nervously for someone to interpret what had been said. If no one interpreted the message, then someone was being disobedient to the Spirit. It was tense until finally someone would speak up.

You see, if someone speaks in tongues most people cannot understand what is being said. The message comes in a language that the hearers cannot understand. They need someone to translate or interpret what is spoken. This is the only way that most of us can understand what the Holy Spirit is saying in a message in tongues.

After my doctor's appointment it hit me. He was almost speaking in tongues. I had waited for a long time to hear what he had to say. And then when he said it, I did not understand. I had to ask questions. I had to probe. I needed the interpretation.

Many things in life can be just like that. Worship. The News. A Book. Your Spouse. God. A Class. Sometimes we need to ask some questions, pray, wait and be a little bit anxious until we get the results from God.

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