Hitching Up a Rooster

I have often quoted my old co-worker in the Von Ormy Post Office whose knowledge of the U.S. Postal System was unrivaled. She knew the regulations and knew the reason for their existence. As a young postal worker, I was still learning the ropes when I worked for Fred Ernst, the Post Master, who gently turned me over to a couple of hard-working carriers (Freddie Mae and Peggy) for instruction and guidance in USPS protocol. When I questioned Freddie Mae concerning some procedural anomaly, she would respond, “If I tell you my rooster can pull a box car, you hitch him up!”

Now to some, that might sound a little harsh, but I knew it was not. She was simply stating a fact from a deep knowledge base and years of experience. So, as an inexperienced clerk, I always did well to heed her instruction.

Paul would state, I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12). And, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). And (if Paul was the author of Hebrews), “So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6). Sounds pretty brash in today’s religious market, which is given to every compromise unthinkable for the sake of union in total contradiction. To stand firm, to assert rightness or to lay claim to the truth is derided as arrogant, prideful and divisive; that is not how New Testament Christians view it. Our dedication to what we know (John 8:32) is such that death itself does not deter our commitment (Galatians 6:12). Our claim is the stuff of fact and we are not ashamed to say so (Romans 1:16), and, in the direst of persecution, we boldly claim “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (cf. Romans 8:33-37).

Christians must regain their Spiritual “swagger.” It is not a conviction based upon our weak and puny self. It is not blind trust in unsubstantiated myths. It is not a momentary lapse of reason, given way to emotionalism. It is an understanding and an acceptance of the revealed Word of God that is able to save our soul (James 1:21). We are not the source of this power, neither are we the author of the words upon which we base our faith. However, when we read, understand and submit, there comes from this process a strength that is unassailable. There is a difference between confidence and cocky, and we would do well to heed God’s instruction; it is time to hitch up that rooster.

Jeff Sweeten