Woodshed Wisdom
By Freeman Martin

Do you ever wonder where are all the people whom you’ve met in your life? This can be entertaining, to say the least. Just start with the first day you went to school. Can’t remember back that far? Well, flip through the Rolodex of your memory until you come to the first “Oh, yeah, I wonder where they are and what they’re doing now. If you’re over forty, this could take a while.

Now, put on the thinking cap. All the people you ever went to grammar school with. Also high school and college. All the teachers and principals you knew and loved. All the coaches and team mates you had on every peewee, mite, midget, and termite teams in all recreation department sports. Plus junior high and high school teams. And everyone you ever took dance, piano, voice, guitar, or hog-calling lessons with.

Now turn to work. Call up the names of all your fellow workers you ever had on all those part-time jobs. Your bagboy buddies, for example. And then all the bosses and all the managers and all the supervisors of all the various jobs throughout your adult life. See what I mean? Taxing on the brain cells, right? Someone once said that old age is when your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size. Ain’t that just the gospel truth!

Is there a point to this seemingly mind-numbing exercise? Thought you’d never ask. Ask anyone who grew up in the ‘Route 4’ way of life if they remember their friends. I can tell you everyone we ever went skinny-dipping with. And everybody who ever played cow pasture baseball with us. Including those who learned the hard way not to slide into third base! And I don’t have to Google them!

Also our buddies in Sunday School and even VBS. I could even call the names of the ones who got us into trouble in big church after we were old enough not to have to sit with our parents. Yep, seems just like yesterday, but I won’t call any names here. Just be sure to get a copy of the soon-to-be published “Woodshed Wisdom, Vol. 1,” due out about Christmas time. Thanks for not gettin’ up and going to the bathroom during that commercial! But we do remember the folks who walk the ‘dirt roads’ of our lives with us, don’t we?

Anyway, the thought of all this is fresh (like third base!) as my mill-hill bride and I, and many others are preparing for the 50th Anniversary of our high school graduation. Now, stop it already with the old-timers jokes. Although I like the one about the Dead Sea not even being sick yet when we were kids!

But, in discussions about contacting everyone, there’s been an oft-repeated question. Whatever happened to so-and-so and wonder where they are now? And then somebody says, “Just Google their name and find out anything you want to know.” Wouldn’t Miss Barron in senior English have had fun teaching us how to conjugate the verb ‘Google?’

While I’m on that subject, and since it is Easter, I’d like to Google a couple of names from the Bible and see what I can find out. The first one is Pilate. That ol’ governor had three chances to do what was right and he blew them ALL, is spite of what his wife tried to tell him (Matthew 27:19). Hey, guys, it just goes to show us. We should listen to our wives when they have something to say. You’re welcome, girls!

Don’t let this Easter Season pass without reading the account of Jesus’ appearance before Pilate in Luke 23:1-25. It’s a great lesson about Pilate’s back trouble – he had a big yellow streak down the middle –and what happens when we follow the crowd even when we know the crowd is wrong.

You’re right. In the end, Pilate caved in to the herd and ‘stepped in something that he couldn’t wash off.’ What I’d like to know is what happened to Pilate after he rubbed his hands raw trying to wash the blood of Jesus from his hands. And did he ever hear the end of it from his wife for not listening to her advice.

The other name I’d like to Google is Barabbas, the convicted murderer that Pilate set free in order to pacify the mob. Did Barabbas slink away and catch the first donkey out of town? Or did he stay and watch what happened to the Man who took his place on the cross? If so, did he flinch when the soldiers drove the nails into Jesus’ hands and feet? Did he feel the whip when Jesus was beaten and flogged? Did he hold on to his head when they mashed those awful thorns in Jesus’ brow? And did he feel like throwing up when they jabbed that spear into Jesus’ side and the blood and water came spurtin’ out?

I’ll admit, it would be a gruesome story to read, if it wasn’t for the life-changing impact of those 10 little words that Jesus uttered as His life blood ran down the cross to the ground below. And it’s a prayer that could change lives even today if we’ll pray it every time someone does us wrong.

“Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.”