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Measuring My Days

March 2006
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          If life is a warfare in which there is no discharge, an increasing vigilance, a road beset with dangers, often rough and arduous and thorny, often darkened and obscure, always winding uphill steeply right on to the journey’s end – let us not grumble and complain and indulge in petulant self-pity:  let us rather thank God for it.  For that is how souls are made.  It takes a world with trouble in it to make possible some of the finest qualities in life.

    James Stewart, The Strong Name

 

Chalet L’Abri, March, 2006

Measuring My Days….acg

            This is rushing the seasons I know:….beneath the lights of my kitchen counter a dozen diminutive sunflower  plants are rising out of starter cubes.  I pushed the seeds into their nesting pods a couple of weeks ago.  Observing them up close and tending them each time I wash dishes or prepare a meal reminds me anew how nature recycles the seasons, brings again the wondrous assurance that life goes on, and leaves me in awe of the miracles of seedtime.  Therewith, I send up to heaven my thanks that I, too, am recycled to live another springtime and behold with my own eyes another magical time of resurrection.

            Ruminating on what I should share in this journal page, my thoughts turned to how the mailing and email lists have grown and how blessed I have been with friends and unseen pen-pals over the years, each of whom have touched my life in special important ways.  I have thought of them as “keepers”, which some anonymous wise soul has defined as things or people that “make us happy, no matter what….like people we know who are special.”  Most recently I heard the sad news that a dear friend, Francoise, in whose home I had once often celebrated life with her warm hospitality and delicious gourmet meals, had passed away.  She had lived the past thirty years in her native France but we had kept in touch via letters.  She and her husband had once taken me to the chateau where she grew up, an estate now preserved as a national historical landmark in France, where her father was the caretaker.  Her refined French elegance always made me think of her as royalty; in my mind, she could easily have been a princess or a queen.  Of course, she is now – royalty – having her inheritance in the kingdom of God. 

            People who have crossed my path either as personal friends or as “royalty” I have met via their books, essays, letters, or biographies become increasingly more important as the years add up for me.  I know there are so many others “out there” who like myself are children of the King.  I’m discovering that our heavenly Father  -- Francis Thompson’s “Hound of Heaven” -- is constantly on the prowl with His forgiving love for my brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are all “prodigals” in so many diverse ways trying to reason our way through the thickets of our minds and the bewildering events of life.  I read Saint Paul’s admonitions and remind myself that now we see things as through a smoky glass, but all the haze will be blown away when we come into our inheritance and see Him face to face.

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         It is not all  the possessions, awards, your name up in bright lights - that all fades quickly. Instead, it is the people whose lives you have touched and hopefully made better, as well as the lasting memory of things we've done to help make the world a better place.”

                                    Marty Richard