Manna for the Journey

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-04-12
  • Publisher: Textstream
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TO DWELL IN THE MYSTERY “To dwell in the mystery.”  I used that phrase a long time ago in something I wrote. To dwell in the mystery long enough to let the Holy Spirit do his work. Dwell, is almost as important a word as mystery.   Dwell, implies patience.   You can not dwell in a hurry.    Unhurried time, immersed in mystery, grounds you to the eternal. Wait!   Who wants to wait? Why not act? Make a decision! It is not as easy as it seems. Waiting sometimes takes more strength than action. Lord, give me patience. Lord, give me wisdom. Lord, let me dwell in your mystery. ERASURES The erasures - The crossed out words - The X'd out paragraphs They are so important, They are the record of change, They are the beginning of improvement.     If there are no erasures     there is no improvement. The manuscript tells so much more than the finished page.  The starts - the stops - the blind alleys - the deletions - the wrong turns - the turn arounds - the deliberate reversals of direction. It is like the word picture from the Youraba language that Dr. Scott Patterson used to explain the concept of repentance.      A man who meets himself coming down the road. Why do we hide the erasures? Why do we leave out the blanked out words? Why do we ignore the X'd out paragraphs? They tell us so much. They remind us that we have changed. They encourage us to continue to make changes. Erasures prepare us for growth in the Kingdom of God. FORCED LABOR! “And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.” Matthew 27:32 He made his way to the edge of the street. He looked to see this so called prophet from Galilee. He wanted to know why everybody was so excited. And then it happened! “You, you there!  Pick up that cross and follow him!” Forced labor! He didn’t volunteer. He didn’t intend to get involved. He didn’t want to be anything but a spectator. But there he was dragging a heavy cross up a mountain, following a beaten, disheveled, bloody man, listening to the ridicule, the taunts, the abuse. Forced Labor! Forced to do the dirty work. Forced to carry the cross for a condemned man. Forced to be a participant instead of a spectator. Sometimes the course of our lives is determined by reason, by planning, by logic. We analyze the data, we look at the facts, we consider the options and move forward with confidence and assurance We do it!  We do it because it is right. Sometimes the course of our lives is determined by a call, by an overwhelming sense of need, by a challenge. It is not something we have planned. It is not even logical. But we do it!  We do it because we can not ignore the call! Sometimes the course of our lives is determined by what is forced upon us! We simply happen to be in a particular place at a point in time and there is a demand beyond our control. Circumstances or fate puts a task into our hands that is totally unexpected. But we do it.  We do it because we have no choice but to do it! Forced labor! Sometimes the course of our lives is shaped by reason and logic. Sometimes the course of our lives is shaped by a call. Sometimes the course of our lives is shaped by what is forced upon us. Simon of Cyrene carried the cross for our Savior. He may or may not have known that he was part of the most significant event in history, but he did what he was forced to do. May we be diligent in our planning for service. May we listen prayerfully for God’s call. May we rejoice in the tasks that are forced upon us.     How we  respond to the opportunity to serve, regardless the way it is revealed to us is what makes us what we are. BLOODY FEET When I was young I knew exactly where I was going - I was sure I was going to win the race! But I got lost along the way - The path was full of briars and stones - I walk slowly now and my feet are bloody. But I have discovered that he miracle of life is that even with bloody feet I can still love! The direction is not what I dreamed, It is not what I thought reasonable, but I can still love. It is not the love that lives in my reverie - the pure, free, joyous love of youth, but I can still love. The love that goes with bloody feet Is more akin to struggle, to task, to commitment, but it is still love. And I have learned that bloody feet     Do not destroy the deja vu of love,     They do not deter the dream of love.     They do not deny the opportunity to love, In fact bloody feet do not hurt now nearly as much as they used to PRAYER Why is it that when we really need to pray There are no words? When life is hanging by a thread, When death is not a threat but is a reality, When hope is a word used by visionaries and mystics, When love's last dying ember has flickered and gone out, When peace is something left over from a fairy tale, When a thoughtless, careless act has done irreparable harm, When adjustments to life that must be made are not made, Or simply When a stroke of fate has struck And we are left with nothing But tragedy, grief and heartache, Why is it that at these times, any attempt to pray Leaves us with words stuck in the base of our throats And a wave of nausea sweeping across our bodies? When it really doesn't matter - When someone picks you out of the crowd And says,      Would you please lead us in a word of prayer? We can always stand up and mumble something about -      Thank you for this another day,     Bless us and ours,     Forgive us for our sins.     In Jesus' name. Amen. And if we have the time Or the inclination We can lengthen it, Polish it, Embellish it, Elaborate on it But when all is said and done we have prayed -      Thank you for this another day,     Bless us and ours,     Forgive us for our sins.     In Jesus' name. Amen. But when life Or hope Or love is in the balance, Words of any kind, No matter how profound, Seem hollow and cheap And even gross. When concern is so deep That we are sick in the pit of our stomachs, Elegant words make us want to throw up! I wonder if that Is what the Apostle Paul Was talking about when he said,         The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us      with groanings which cannot be uttered. ...

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