Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Feeling the Pinch

The Friday after Christmas, as is our usual routine, I took the girls skating along with one of their friends. I watched as numerous arena patrons took to the ice, many of them in possession of brand new skates, no doubt opened in the early hours of Christmas.

The “I know I can fly” sentiments that reigned at that moment have suddenly faded as the daunting ice sheet beckons their untried blades. It immediately becomes obvious… some of those with new skates are new skaters, while others, though the skates be new, the feet that reside in them are ‘old hands’ (smiles) at the skating game.

An elderly gentleman glides around a couple times before seating himself on the visitor’s bench, resting his helmeted head (no doubt another Christmas gift from concerned children) on the wall as he catches his breath. He may not be able to make the rounds he once did, but he hasn’t forgotten HOW…

Another little guy (two years old his dad tells me) can stand with ease, but that is really all he can do. He tries hard as his parents coax him along, snapping pictures on their cell phone to insure that this moment isn’t forgotten.

Of course, I know how they feel.

So many times I have pinched my spiritual feet into a new pair of ‘commitments’ and felt the cramped arches that affected my ability to keep going on. It would have been much more comfortable to remain firmly ensconced in my old commitment, but they do require upgrading sometimes. The ease with which I once maneuvered through things long familiar is replaced by the tottering strides of a new venture… and the crash helmet seems to just get in the way.

But… new commitments make me stronger. Not giving up builds character. And anything that brings me closer to God is GOOD… even if it pinches!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Four Calls

And Spirit came in CHILDHOOD,
And pleaded, "Let me in."
But Oh! the door was bolted,
By thoughtlessness and sin.
"I am too young," the child replied,
"I will not yield today.
There's time enough tomorrow,"
The Spirit went away.

Again He came and pleaded,
In YOUTH'S bright happy hour,
He came, but heard no answer,
For lured by Satan's power,
The youth lay dreaming then,
And saying, "Not today;
Nor till I've tried earth's pleasures,"
The Spirit went away.

Again He called in mercy,
In MANHOOD'S vigorous prime.
But still He found no welcome,
The merchant had no time.
No time for true repentance,
No time to think or pray.
And so, repulsed and saddened,
The Spirit went away.

Once more He called and waited,
The man was OLD and ill.
He scarcely heard the whisper,
His heart was cold and still.
"Go leave me, when I need You,
I'll call for You," he cried.
Then sinking in his pillow,
WITHOUT A HOPE, he died.

Author Unknown

The Fatal Crossing

There is a time, we know not when:
A place we know not where;
Which marks the destiny of man,
For glory or despair.

There is a line by us unseen,
That crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between
God's mercy and His wrath.

To pass that limit, is to die;
To die as if by stealth,
It does not quench the beaming eye,
Nor pale the glow of health.

The conscience may be still at ease,
The spirit light and gay;
That which is pleasing, still may please,
And care be thrust away.

Oh! where is this mysterious bourne
By which our path is crossed?
Beyond which God Himself has sworn,
That he who goes is lost?

How long may I go on in sin?
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end, and where begin
The confines of despair?

An answer from the skies is sent,
"You that from God depart;
While it is called Today, repent,
And harden not your heart."

Unknown Author - Dr. Alexander ???