Praise, Worship, and Snuffy Smith

Award Ceremony

I’m not sure whether or not it’s original with him or not, but my son-in-law, a pastor, says this about worship and praise: “We praise God for what He’s done, and we worship Him for who He is.”  Some say that they are basically the same thing, you know, six of one, a half dozen of the other.  

Really?

My personal belief is that there can be, and usually is, a distinct difference between what we do, and who we are.

Example One:  Our prisons are filled with vile murderers and rapist who have committed unspeakable acts on innocent victims.  And yet, back at home, there are countless mothers who still love those guilty monsters.  That’s because they can still see and love them as their own flesh and blood children.  They love them because of who they are… their child… in spite of what they’ve done.

Example Two:  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

Example Three:  It happened on May, 1, 1943 in the war-torn skies over Europe.  Weather had made havoc of the Army Air Force bombing mission of an enemy submarine base.  Several planes had mechanical problems and turned back, several more got disoriented in the horrid weather and turned back.  And then enemy fighters attacked the few remaining planes! 

Aboard one bomber was what can only be described as a miss-fit.  His name was Maynard Smith,  The others called him ‘Snuffy Smith’ in derision, after a popular cartoon character of the time who was a back-woods, cantankerous oaf.  Maynard was what the military called a ‘screw-up.’  He didn’t adjust well to military life.  He was in trouble as much as he was out of it.  But, the USAAF needed ‘warm bodies’ to fight, and Maynard Smith met that qualification.  Maynard was assigned as a gunner in a bomber. 

Maynard’s aircraft was hit… in the fuel tanks!  A blazing fire erupted.  3 crewmen immediately bailed out, never to be seen again.  The German fighters continued the attack.  Maynard grabbed a fire extinguisher and battled the flames… and then alternated this with firing back at the fighters.  He also tended to the wounds of the others around him, as best as he could.  As the fire burned through the fuselage of the plane, Maynard threw out burning debris from inside the plane through these holes.  He alternated between battling the blaze, firing at attacking fighters, and attending to the wounded… until the piloted somehow managed to get the crippled plane back across the English Channel an to friendly base.  The plane broke apart on touchdown.  But all 6 of the remaining crewmen survived! 

For this, Maynard Smith was awarded the Congressional Medal Of Honor… for single-handedly saving the lives of all the others!

There was a huge difference between WHO Maynard Smith was and what Maynard Smith DID.  And as if to farther illustrate this, on the very day that he was awarded the Congressional Metal Of Honor, he didn’t show up for the ceremony!  He had to be found! And why?  Because, he’d messed up yet again, and was on KP in the kitchen, being punished by doing menial tasks, like peeling potatoes!  He had to be removed from a punishment detail so that he could be given our nation’s highest award for valor!  Yes, this is a true story.

As for me, I praise Him for what He’s done for me and for my family. And I worship Him with a grateful heart and with all of my being… for who He IS, and WAS, and forever WILL BE! 

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