Further Along My Passage

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December/Christmas 2012
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I write these lines as the old year rapidly comes to a close.  December found me pre-occupied with editing the first draft of my book, Measuring My Days, all the while re-living a huge segment of my life as a semi-retiree.  Reading the book with little intermission, I found the same theme that has given me purpose and meaning for living repeated over and over, reminding me somewhat like the musical drumbeat in Maurice Ravel’s orchestral piece Bolero.  For those familiar with the music, Ravel begins with a quiet repetition of the same notes with the sound growing louder as it progresses.  According to one review from the premiere performance, a woman was heard shouting that Ravel was mad. When told about this, Ravel is said to have commented that she had understood the piece.  Without disclosing the repetition of themes in my book, I will allow the readers to discover the drumbeat for themselves with a tongue-in-cheek wish that my composition will not drive them insane.  Draw here a smiley face!

Incidentally, the musical history of Ravel’s Bolero, initially composed for a ballet piece, has had a storied career with conductor Arturo Toscanini giving the American premier directing the New York Philharmonic on 14 November 1929.  Toscanini would later perform the work at the Paris Opera with Ravel in attendance.  Ravel objected backstage to Toscanini’s upbeat tempo, to which Toscanini responded “it’s the only way to save the work”.  The back-and-forth became a cause celebre which only served to make the piece more popular.  Ravel’s music would later became the title theme for the 1934 motion picture Bolero starring Carole Lombard. One reviewer claimed that Toscanini had made Ravel “almost an American national hero.”

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. “  (Romans 8:28)   “This great promise has been an immeasurable source of strength and comfort to Christians, especially during times of trial.  It is specifically directed, however, only to those who are “the called”.  Recognition of them who are the called is best achieved through their synonymous description as “them that love God.”.... That is, a true church is composed of people who have been specially called by God out of the world system, then joined together in a local church to fulfill the purposes of divine calling.

   God’s call was strictly by grace, according to His own eternal purpose!  The means by which God calls is the gospel: “Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14)  No wonder, then, we can know that all things work together on behalf of those whom God has called, and who therefore love God.”  Henry M. Morris in Days of Praise.

“Have you ever wondered what language they speak in heaven?  This is it.  This is the language of heaven.  They will come from the north and the south and the east and the west.  They will come from German, Spanish, Greek, and Syrian speaking countries.  They will come from all around the world and will never have to sit down and go through the process of learning a new language.  In the kingdom of God, everyone will speak the same language of which the keynote will be:  “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive glory and power and wisdom and might and honor  ( Rev. 4:11).  You will know heaven’s language when you get there without having to study it - and you will not speak with an accent.”  A. W. Tozer, The Crucified Life.