Tuesday, 31 January 2017 16:58

Invited or not, point all 100 of your feet toward a church

Written by  Harold Bales

Mike Poplin knows I enjoy Cajun humor. Now and then he sends me a funny story in the distinctive accent of the bayou. He knows this will make me hungry for some Cajun cooking and will also inspire a sermonette from me.

Well, the following story came at the perfect moment for me. As you regular readers know, I have had some serious health problems during recent months and have been unable to attend church. I get a bit depressed when I can’t take my seat in my pew among my friends.

So here comes a story from Mike. Boudreaux decided he wanted a pet. So he went to the pet store and told the owner that he wanted to buy an unusual pet. After some discussion, Boudreaux finally bought a talking centipede (the 100-legged bug), which came in a little white box to use for its house. Boudreaux took the box home, found a good spot for it and decided he would start off by taking his new pet to church with him.

Well, he asked the centipede in the box, “Would you like to go to church wit me today? We will pass a good time.” But there was no answer from his new pet. This bothered Boudreaux a bit. So he waited a few minutes and then asked again, “How about going to church wit me and receive da blessings?”

Again there was no answer from his new friend and pet. So he waited a few more minutes more, thinking about the situation. Boudreaux decided to invite the centipede one last time. This time he put his face up against the centipede’s house and shouted, “Hey in here! Would you like to go to church wit me and learn ’bout God?”

This time a little voice came out of the box: “I heard you the first time! I’m putting on my shoes!”

That little fable offers some food for thought. In the first place, lots of people and talking centipedes may want to go to church but are slow getting there. I mean, it takes a long time for a centipede to put on 100 shoes getting properly shod for church. This is true even if you leave aside the socks. Compare this with me, for instance. Now I have only one foot to be clad.

Of course, some people don’t want to go to church. They use the excuse that nobody ever invites them. That’s a pretty sorry excuse, if you ask me.

One thing about the story that inspires me is that Boudereaux at least invited the centipede to go to church. And he did it for good reasons. He wanted the centipede to learn about God, receive a blessing and have a good time. These are worthy motives for inviting someone to church. If Boudreaux were simply trying to impress his fellow church-goers with his talented, talking centipede pal, that could point to spiritual pride. At least Boudereaux’s heart was in the right place.

For many years, researchers have asked church-goers why they began attending church. One of the most consistent answers given to that question is, “Someone invited me.” If you’re heart’s in the right place and you would like to have more people participating in your church, then invite them. This strategy may work with talking centipedes, too!

Harold Bales is a retired Methodist minister who lives in Concord. He enjoys hearing from his readers, so send him an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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