Further Along My Passage

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Summer arrives.....

“I suspect that it wasn’t wholly coincidence that the Declaration was proclaimed in early July, for in that day everyone lived much closer to the land than now.  And man with his footing in the soil has little patience with outside interferences in July.  He’s too busy with natural problems to be very tolerant with man-made ones...The Declaration is a document well remembered.  But there is another declaration, unwritten except on sweaty faces, to be read by anyone who looks, in July.  It says the same thing as the written one, and it says it year after year, on farm after farm.  I see it every day now.... Independence seems to me to be a very personal quality, a matter of the mind and the emotions and the whole approach to life.  It is a positive matter, rather than a refusal to knuckle down to some outside force.  And it involves many of the broad, indefinable generalities-- liberty, justice, honor, integrity.  It is more than a matter of politics or even of social organization.  Independence means to me the right to make what I can of myself, to think as clearly as my brain will allow, to be as much of an individual, an entity, as I can.  It means my right to make a place for myself in human society, but it doesn’t mean that society is somehow obliged to make a place for me.  It means that I shall face the consequences of my own folly and not that some town or state or nation shall shield me from them.  This is somewhat old-fashioned; I know that.  But the pendulum of fashion, in human behavior as well as dress, has its swings, and returns again and again to the point where individual responsibility is again in good repute.  Independence means obligation as well as rights.  The right to work, and the obligation to work at my full capacity.  The right to earn, the obligation to save.  The right to worship as I please, and the obligation to abide by my best beliefs and instincts...These are not new ideas.  They are so old they are worn smooth with repetitions.  They stem from ancient tribal days.  They happen also to be embedded in the Declaration of Independence....

Hal Borland in his book This Hill, This Valley.

“We have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.”

2 Corinthians 4:4 (RSV)

 Last Sonset 3

James S. Stewart in his book King Forever shows us how to climb out of depression as he illustrates this verse of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians:  “And if one day I am feeling at the end of my tether, disappointed and defeated and terribly unlike the Christ who has commissioned me to be His witness, then that very experience by emptying me of self, gives God a chance to fill me and lays me open to resources which in my strongest hours I could never have developed.  In fact, it is when you have sunk right down to rock bottom that you suddenly find you have struck the Rock of Ages.  And then men begin to take knowledge of you that you have been with Jesus.” 


And Audrey Mieir set in stirring verse how to courageously face life’s crucibles with prayer:

Forgive me Lord I prayed in vain

That you would spare me grief and pain.

But now my blinded eyes can see these things were meant for me.  Don’t spare me failure if this is what is best for me.  Don’t spare me sickness if this will make me call on Thee. Don’t spare me loneliness. For I recall Gethsemane. Don’t spare me anything that you endured for me.  Don’t spare me troubles if this will bring me close to Thee. Don’t spare me heartache. You bore a broken heart for me.  Don’t spare me suffering for I recall your agony. Don’t spare me anything that you endured for me but give me strength to follow Thee.

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