Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Inspiration

Inspiration can be for all of us who hide behind our list of excuses. Inspiration can call us out from under the rock we have felt comfortable hiding under. Inspiration can change people and the direction of their lives. Really? Can we be sure? Seriously, can people really be inspired? Isn't inspiration a form of judging in that we are making an the assumption that our way is the best way? and it would be better for that person to become inspired to change? Is the motive for inspiration a concealed form of ego; that is, trying to inspire people to be more like us?

No, no - I don't want to inspire people to be more like me. I would have them be more like Jesus: I am not the model, the pattern to follow, not me, an old sinner saved by grace. But, I have found the missing coin, the Pearl of Great Price, and want to share it, not because I am judging but because I know it is a better way, the better way, for me, for anyone. This direction, this journey is not the best way because I am on it, but that Jesus is leading the way; my hope, my own inspiration, and my treasure. Yes, I want to inspire, share the treasure, the treasure of life with Jesus; a life without end in His Name...Amen


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hanging on the Piling - A Fathers Day Story

Our small outboard pushed hard against the strong current but we were making slow progress. A large piling stuck out int the middle of the river ahead of us: a metal I-beam. They were building a large dam on the river here and the river had pushed back progress and destroyed some structures but left the I-beam in the middle of the river. For some reason we wanted to tie a line on it. It had already been bent over by the force of the water and we motored right under the leaning piling. My father stood up and bear hugged the piling to hold us steady so he could tie on.

A sudden swirl of the vicious current, a stall in our small motor, and we were pushed backward, leaving my father dangling from the piling in the middle of the river. Anxious moments were spent trying to get the boat back up the river under the piling, and under my struggling father. Finally, his feed touched the boat and he released his death-grip on the piling. We moved on to quieter waters.

Since then, as I watched my father struggle with his losing battle with cancer, I again experienced that same desperate feeling that I was leaving him out there hanging over the raging river. Sure, I realize there was was nothing more I could have done, but still, there is that same helpless, desperate feeling of not being able to save. Now dad is gone. His boat is no longer challenging the raging current of life. He has moved on to quieter waters.

And over the years I have come to realize that now it is really me that has been left hanging out there in the middle of the raging current of life. I have my own piling I am gripping tightly, waiting for that someday when Jesus will moves His lifeboat under me, get me off this piling safely, and take me out of this raging river to peaceful waters to be with Him.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Shall Remain

The place looks great: mowed and our old garden taken out...sort of nostalgia there...raised lots of food in that plot of ground. I can remember when it was a thicket you could not walk through but I cleared it, pulled out the roots and such, broke the new ground and made the earth say potatoes, beans, cabbage, spinach, etc instead of bushes and weeds. Now it returns to grass to be mowed. When we have coffee in the morning watching the sun rise through the trees, the pungent smell of mowed grass will complement the morning freshness. "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word shall remain."

Monday, June 1, 2015

What Did You Plant?

My Mother, one hundred years old, tired, and confused, sat alone at the table in the nursing home dining hall. There was little emotion in her face only acceptance, patience, and resignation. This was the best it could be for her. I'm sure she feels very alone: unable to see much, or hear much, or understand much about what she is doing, and even where she is. After all she had done; all she has been; and all she has been through; this is how it ends? Is this the sum total of life?

Back home it brings me down when I conjure up the vision of my Mother sitting alone and numb in that nursing home dining hall. What's the sense of it all? Then my gaze takes itself out the window to a tree: Mother's tree; a tree my she pulled out of the ground when it was just a sprout, put it in a container, and nourished it. She gave to me when it was time, and I planted her tree there when it was scarcely knee high.

Now Mother's tree is taller than the house with long branches making shade for the yard. Birds nest among its branches, and in the fall it bears acorns to feed wildlife. And some acorns stay in the ground and sprout, bringing the prospect of new life from the old, another tree for another time.

My Mother's world has shrunk to a very small circle of life, but like the tree, she has provided shade and fruit in her time, and in doing so, she has left new life sprouting where she has sown. "Who so ever shall lose his life shall find it ---" My Mother has essentially lost her life now, but the fruit she has left will remain. And it will remain in me. Because she has planted and nurtured, she will leave much more than a single tree. Her influence will be felt long after she is even known or known about or anyone knows where the influence came from.

Knowing all this, what will be my life sum total when I reach that lifeless life at the end of life? Will I have planted weeds that only crowd, congest, and consume, a product of a life lived mainly for myself? Or will I have planted trees - fruit trees - that bear fruit for the Glory of God for this and future generations?

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit: so shall ye be my disciples.
John 15:8