Authority — The word denotes pictures in one’s mind of an expert whose views are taken as definitive.
They know… they said… it’s true!
But that said, this idea can run amuck pretty easily, just based on how well the person’s proclaimed view is marketed. Some are better at this than others, perhaps because of their own sureness and confidence, coupled with a strong measure of boldness. I can be this person on occasion. Likely you can, too! I WAS this person only too recently!
Set the scene….. Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop on a slow day (for me and them!) And if one is having a slow day, why in the world would you NOT swing by one’s local doughnut shop, just to pass the time! Anyway, I did. And as you well know…“Time” gives platform for conversation. I sometimes think we don’t have more meaningful conversations with people simply because we do not have the TIME! We’re rushed! We have somewhere we need to be! And we’re already late! But I had none of that on this particular day, so I inquired …. “how’s your day going?”, to which Mr. Doughnut-man replied “we’re pretty slow today”. “Hmm, I thought, …that’s a shame — for you and for all those people who don’t have time for doughnuts today,” Anyway, while he’s claiming my treasured bounty from the racks, I saunter over (yes…. people with “time” saunter), so I saunter over to the wall next to the trash can where “my picture hangs”. Yes… you heard that right. My picture hangs over the trash can at our local Krispy Kreme establishment. And that’s another whole story, but let’s suffice it to say, when Johnson City landed their own KK store, they decided it would be savvy marketing to choose 4 “Krispy Kreme Ambassadors” to represent them within the community. I fought hard, vying for that position….. testimonials, photos, documentation, and the like. And I full-well think my 3 friends merely got in on my coattails!! But they might beg to differ, offering that I was “no authority” on the subject! But there we go again…. “authority” — I might just pull this off and convince you, based on my own sureness, confidence, and boldness! (And when they write their blog, I’ll let them tell “their side of the story”!!) But meanwhile, let me continue…..
Because I had time, I come back over to Mr. Doughnut man and share with him…… “did you know that the guy in the bottom right picture is the young man who was the first customer here at Krispy Kreme when ya’ll opened the store 8 years ago? He won free doughnuts for a year!”
Mr Doughnut replied, seemingly genuinely surprised: “Really?”
Me: “yeah…. I know him— personally. And just saying, but that’s ME in the picture above him. And maybe you didn’t know this, but I AM one of the Krispy Kreme Ambassadors for this store”.
It was at this point, that I gathered an audience. The other 2 employees stop what they’re doing to listen. And ya see, the thing is… I DO know that young man. He is the grandson of close friends of ours…. Stanley and Roma. Well, it was at this point that from outta nowhere another little tidbit of information occurred to me….. and I thought these Krispy Kreme workers would find this info EXTREMELY interesting. I got excited myself as I suddenly made the connection in my own mind….. you see, I hadn’t made that connection until that very moment. So I excitedly pressed on……
“Well, HERE’s a little information that you probably did not know….. do you guys ever watch the TV show Survivor?” They all nod. I mean the show’s only been on for about a gazillion years…. so who hasn’t seen it at some point or another.
I proceed on, quite authoritatively….. “well, that young man, who was your first customer, is currently on Survivor. And he’s doing quite well. He’s from Unicoi…. his name is Gavin. We attended his wedding.”
Well, at this point, the employees are going over to the trash can for a closer look. And me? I’ve got my dozen doughnuts….. and of course, they were FREE! I had a coupon. But wouldn’t one EXPECT a Krispy Kreme Ambassador to have a coupon? And so I leave this merry band of Krispy Kreme workers with a cheery “ya’ll might wanna watch it! He might just win!”
I felt really good about having shared the wealth of my knowledge that day…. you know how you feel when you bring insight and understanding into a person’s life. It was a good day. Later that evening, I happened to recall my time at Krispy Kreme and was pretty excited to share the story with Carl. And I can “share a story”…… I had launched, the suspense was building, and I had reached the climax….. “and I shared with them that their big doughnut winner is on Survivor!!!!”…… to which Carl said — “no he isn’t”. I thought, I have not made this clear! I back up…. I go again…. clarifying the big finish news! And Carl persists….”no, no — not him”.
“WHAT? What are you even talking about? That’s him!”
And then it happened….. like a lightening bolt from heaven I realized the err of my ways. In my defense, I did have bits and pieces of the story….. Gavin on Survivor is the grandson-in-law of our friends Stanley and Roma. But the big doughnut winner was actually their grandson (who is cousin to the wife of Gavin, grandson-in-law on Survivor… who may not even like doughnuts!)
How embarrassing. I told Carl I’m afraid they might just strip me of my Ambassador title if they find out! And the thing is…. it was such a great little story! I wonder how many people those 3 employees have passed that novel little news flash on to!
They had the Survivor Finale last night — Gavin came in first runner-up. I was almost relieved. I feared if he had won the Million Dollars, Krispy Kreme might’ve made a big to-do about it and had him come back in for a Doughnut Reunion — free doughnuts for another year!! And then the cousin-in-law would’ve come forward declaring that doughnut honor was HIS, and then those 3 employees would’ve said….. “but the Ambassador TOLD us — ………..”
Authority — just goes to show, enthusiastic confidence, coupled with brash boldness, therein does not denote truth!
Our Pastors are leading us in a study on C. S. Lewis’ book “Mere Christianity”. As I was reading this morning, I came across an interesting statement on “authority”….. “Believing things on authority only means believing them because you have been told them by someone you think trustworthy. Ninety-nine per cent of the things you believe are believed on authority. I believe there is such a place as New York. I have not seen it myself. I could not prove by abstract reasoning that there must be such a place. I believe it because reliable people have told me so.”
I guess one might’ve thought the Krispy Kreme Ambassador was a reliable informant. But one would’ve been wrong. Which brings me to wonder about all those other things falling within the realm of that 99%!! What are any of us believing and why are we believing it? I really don’t think we can trust sureness, confidence, and boldness! It’s just not enough. If you don’t believe me, just ask any Krispy Kreme employee in Johnson City!
So wherein is safety within our belief system? What can we trust? Who can we trust? Certainly not me! But there is One.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me….”
These are some of the parting words of the resurrected Jesus, just prior to His ascension back to Heaven. He tells the listening ears that all authority has been given to Him. Some believed. Some doubted.
Authority denotes power — it means that one has both the power and the right to give orders or make decisions. Jesus has this right because He IS God!
John 1:1-5 tells us that In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And today….. Some believe. Some doubt. But the thing about TRUTH — even doubt doesn’t change it. It’s certainly a game-changer for the doubter…. and not in a good way, but as for TRUTH, it remains (HE remains) rock-solid, trustworthy, sure,
John 3:33 Whoever receives His testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.
John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Sidenote: If you’re looking for a great summer read, C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” does an excellent job of explaining and defending the beliefs of Christianity, as he makes a powerful case for the Christian faith! We’d love to have you join us at Boone Trail Baptist on Wednesday nights at 6:30 as our pastors lead the discussion on the chapter we read each week. And who knows….. maybe somebody will bring Krispy Kreme!!!