Friday, November 23, 2012

A Pocket Full of Posies

"Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel."  - G.K. Chesterton 

Perched five feet above a solid cement floor, my infant son sat facing outward, supported by my arms.  He swung his legs merrily, taking in his surroundings as he often does, until he decided at once that he wanted to get down.  He began to try to scoot forward to free himself of the hold I had on him.  With each failed attempt he would try again, harder and harder each time.  Finally he got frustrated with me and began to fuss and whimper.  He was angry with me for not allowing him to jump a distance greater than two times his height (him who can not even stand up, let along jump!).  He was clearly far too young to understand that his father was not acting to frustrate him, but to keep him from serious harm.  He simply wanted what he wanted.

But what lessons children teach us!  How often is it the same with us?  We simply want what we want.  We may try over and over and over for the same thing, and our Heavenly Father may restrain us over and over and over to keep us from harm.  And though we ought to be thankful for this, instead we often act in frustration.  In defiance, we may try again, only to find ourselves restrained one more time.  Like an infant, we understand so little compared to our God.  Sometimes the things we see as burdens were given to us by God to make us into the people we would be in the future.  Sometimes we want to go one direction in life, and God points us in another.  And sometimes we just want to jump out of the loving arms of God onto a cement floor where we would surely break our heads.  Strange as it may be at times to our small minds, we ought to be thankful that God does not give us everything we want.  We know little of what we truly need, but we can rest in the knowledge that we have a Father in Heaven who does.

"To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it."
- G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, November 17, 2012

If Wishes Were Horses

"Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf." - G.K. Chesterton

Time is ever with us, yet it rushes past us like a wind, sweeping us along on its merry way.  There are those who take the time to look backward, remembering and wondering about the past.  But for most these days, history began a month ago from their present point in time.  There are so many lessons from the past, but there are few these days that remember them.  Sadly this is not due to any lack of ability, but rather a lack of caring.

Apathy reigns in our culture.  If it takes effort, it is immediately discarded.  Unfortunately this means far too often thinking and critical thought take a back seat to comfort, ease, acquisition, entertainment....  It has not always been so.  In times past, remembering the past and thinking about their lessons was extremely important.  In Israel, God commanded the Jews to build monuments of stone as reminders for the generations of the future of God's faithfulness.  When the children would ask of their parents what the monuments were there for, they would reply with a story and lesson of the faithfulness and grace of God that He showed to them.  These same people, however, became apathetic.  Oh, it didn't happen overnight.  No, it began with an attitude of "to each his own".  It became too much effort to stand up for what was right and to confront sin, so they allowed it to grow and thrive around them.  But like any kind of sickness left untreated, it spread.  Within a generation or two, the entire nation was involved, not merely apathetic, but now fully embracing it, until a generation would rise up and cast off the sin and turn back to God.  This would become the repeated cycle for the Jews with many serious and grave consequences;  a lesson to learn from.

Yet we do not remember these things.  "After all," we say, "it doesn't affect my life.  Why should I care?"  Thinking is an uncomfortable exercise for most.  Fighting for what is right is too much effort.  It is easier to compromise and, in so doing, convince ourselves that we are being more noble for doing so.  It is easier to convince ourselves that what is bad is not-so-bad, and what is not-so-bad is actually good.  What our grandparents would shudder at we embrace, and what they would display openly, we hide.

We too have monuments that we have setup for the purposes of remembering;  reminders of where we came from and the God that once was the leader of our homes.  "In God We Trust".  But the Enemy is anything but apathetic toward attacking these things.  He knows well the events of the past and the power -or lack thereof- of an apathetic people.  He knows that the more apathetic the people, the more ignorant they are, for they care little for knowledge or wisdom embracing instead the superfluous.  Slowly he wears us down until a generation arises who no longer cares for the lessons of the past or the things of God are fully in control.  

I fear this generation has arrived.  I have studied history, and I know what happens to a culture, a nation, and a people when this generation comes.  But I know that the winds of time do not blow as by chance but are directed by the hand of God.  It is He who ordains such times as this, and it is His time to direct.  Our part is to decide what to do with the time given to us.  Do we allow ourselves to be swept along with the simple currents of carelessness, or do we attempt the effort of swimming against the tide?  No action occurs of its own accord.  It starts with the mind, with a will do do something, and an attitude that cares to act in a certain way.

"We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it's there for emergencies but he hopes he'll never have to use it."  - C.S. Lewis © 2010. layout by Chaotic Soul :: Converted by Randomness