“I may, I suppose, regard myself, or pass for being a relatively
successful man. People occasionally stare at me in the streets--that's fame. I can fairly easily earn enough to qualify for
admission to the higher slopes of the Internal Revenue--that's success. Furnished with money and a little fame even the elderly,
if they care to, may partake of trendy diversions--that's pleasure. It might happen once in a while that something I said
or wrote was sufficiently heeded for me to persuade myself that it represented a serious impact on our time--that's fulfillment.
Yet I say to you--and I beg you to believe me--multiply these tiny triumphs by a million, add them all together, and they
are nothing--less than nothing, a positive impediment--measured against one draught of that living water Christ offers to
the spiritually thirsty, irrespective of who or what they are.”
Chalet L’Abri, October 2005,
Measuring My Days…acg
These days find me
sending up waves of gratitude that I am no longer working disaster operations for American Red Cross or FEMA. Nevertheless, as hurricanes Katrina and Rita fade into history, I can empathize deeply and personally with
victims and recovery workers alike. The stress of long hours, bureaucratic impasses,
and the urgency to return to something resembling a normal life marked so many of my days for 24 years. Even so, my world was stretched with new and lasting friendships and grounding with deep appreciation for
the resiliency of people all over the world to recover from their crucibles. So
October opens with a renewed embrace of Romans 8:28 as I savor the glory of the autumn forest colors surrounding me here and
summon what Longfellow called “majesty memory.”
I’ve been meditating on the story of Stephen, the first martyr,
as I prepare to lead my next Sunday school session. From an exposition in the
Interpreter’s Bible jump these words: “When the bushes
along the way are dull and never a one flames with glory, it may be that there is something wrong with the bush. Far more likely it is that the light in us has gone out. It
is our own transfiguration (such as that of Stephen in his finest hour of martyrdom) for which we pray, for in the reflection
of that Light the whole world looks different.” Alas, my prayer these
days is for the ability to fully observe and rightfully see the countenance of the bushes afire in this autumn season and
autumn of my life. Grant, dear Lord, that something of that Light and Life might
even be seen in me.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much
The most profound theological and philosophical statements being made these days are in the photographs taken
from the Hubble Space Telescope….In a cosmic sea of black space whirl galaxies beyond counting, eight to ten billion
light-years away. Their light headed our direction long before the Earth existed. These galaxies are remarkably dissimilar:
spiral ones and barred ones, elliptical, interacting…. Unseen before. Unexplainable
now. Perhaps forever incomprehensible.
Astronomers estimate there are fifty billion galaxies out there….Everything and anything imaginable is possible….
Robert Fulghum, Words I Wish I Wrote
I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us
every hour, if we only will tune in. - George Washington Carver.