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Measuring My Days

September 2007
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“Our world hangs like a magnificent jewel in the vastness of space. Every one of us is a part of that jewel. A facet of that jewel. And in the perspective of infinity, our differences are infinitesimal. We are intimately related. May we never even pretend that we are not. Have you heard my favorite story that came from the Seattle Special Olympics? Well, for the 100-yard dash there were nine contestants, all of them so-called physically or mentally disabled. All nine of them assembled at the starting line and at the sound of the gun, they took off. But not long afterward one little boy stumbled and fell and hurt his knee and began to cry. The other eight children heard him crying; they slowed down, turned around and ran back to him. Every one of them ran back to him. One little girl with Down Syndrome bent down and kissed the boy and said, "This'll make it better." And the little boy got up and he and the rest of the runners linked their arms together and joyfully walked to the finish line. They all finished the race at the same time. And when they did, everyone in that stadium stood up and clapped and whistled and cheered for a long, long, time. People who were there are still telling the story with great delight. And you know why. Because deep down, we know that what matters in this life is more than winning for ourselves. What really matters is helping others win too. Even if it means slowing down and changing our course now and then.” Fred McFeely Rogers in his
2002 Commencement Address at Dartmouth College

 

  

When autumn weather
Turns the leaves to flame
One hasn't got the time for the waiting game
Oh the days dwindle down to a precious few… ….It’s a long, long time from May to December.  But the days grow short when we reach September.”
  Those lyrics apply,  I’ve discovered, for a lifetime as well as for the ephemeral months ticking by so rapidly.   I take inventory and remind myself that I must make the most of the minutes, hours, days, months remaining….however many or few.  It’s not a morbid exercise;  rather a celebration of all the good times, looking backward, as well as the promise of opportunities offered with each new day, arms linked with others on our way to the finish line.  Saint Paul’s metaphor of the Olympic runner comes to mind….” I have finished the race”, he wrote to Timothy in his  second letter.   So I find myself having surely rounded the bend and in the final stretch!

          Many who read these pages will know that I have become somewhat of a disciple of Ravi Zacharias, the Christian apologist who has traveled many millions of miles in his mission to carry the message of the Christian faith to all the world.  In a recent broadcast, he shares his belief that one of the great clues to meaning in life is family relation-ships, but the ultimate relationship is only when you find that personal relationship with God Himself,.  The pursuit of the Hebrews for centuries, he says, was light, quoting the Psalms: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; the people that sat in darkness have seen a great light; thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”.  The pursuit of the Greeks was knowledge – that you may know, the logos, the whole idea of knowledge, the idea of the academy and the Greek university, the whole idea of Greek culture in that first century AD was knowledge -- to know.  The pursuit of the Romans was glory  - the city that wasn’t built in a day, the city to which all roads led.   Paul in his letter to the church at Corinth linked all three pursuits when he wrote:  “God who caused His light to shine out of darkness has caused His light to shine in our hearts to give to us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus our Lord.”

                                        

“At the foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is the genuine loveliness of those who are common-place.  I am truly blessed in my poverty.  If I have no strength of will and a nature without worth or excellence, then Jesus says to me, “Blessed are you, because it is through your poverty that you enter into My kingdom.”  I cannot enter His kingdom by virtue of my goodness – I can only enter it as an absolute pauper.”

                        Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest