Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 253 The Geography of the Pilgrim Road

Dear friends,

Believe it or not, what's on my mind a whole lot today is geography. I am totally into maps, and have a new atlas on order with Amazon as part of my home school curriculum for David in the fall. I want the young whipper snapper to have a basic understanding of where things are in the world, especially in his own country. Where things are has had a great impact on the history of this cosmic ball. You'll notice no great wars have been fought over the Arctic. Large swaths of tundra have been passed over, while a tiny slice of land smack dab in the heart of the Middle East has been the bull's eye of countless battles for control and power. I remember watching that movie "Men in Black", and at the end of the film the earth gets smaller and smaller til it's a marble being tossed around by some crazy alien. Lousy theology but great fun! And to see the earth in all that smallness is to see it correctly. Which is why it is such a wonder that the Great One puts such stock in this planet.

I've had a few things happen during this week of turning 50 that have given me the overwhelming sense of the unreasonable love of God. Believe me I'm not being "too hard on myself" when I say I am undeserving. The thing is, God is not about giving us what we deserve. He's about extending extraordinary mercy to the objects of His affection. And we are all objects of that affection. The sad thing is many don't recognize it, or won't respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit out of fear, or pride, or reluctance to let go of some cherished idol. Like I've said before, I don't judge folks hooked on drugs, or work, or any other thing, since I can't even control myself with a cookie. But at some point we've got to let Him have all. Not because He wants to take from us, but because He's looking for our absolute joy, and it can't come from some cheap imitation. And they're all cheap in comparison to the towering inferno of the love of Christ.

"… it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." ~ C.S. Lewis

There has been a blessing in the experience of the mess created on November 8. That blessing has been a bit of perspective on the things that one can let go much more easily than previously thought. I'll say it again: Relationship is the currency of life - first with God, then with man. You'll do anything for love. It's what makes the world go around. This is a very tiny, infinitely important globe. I'm still striving to lay all my stuff down for the great trek still before me on the pilgrim road. What is it you need to leave behind? Don't let it own you. Don't let it weigh you down. The Great One wants us to fly. But the baggage has to go. Don't misunderstand: there are many wonderful, lawful recreations along the way. I'm no Puritan. There are a million things to celebrate! It's really a matter of the heart. Is our heart tangled in anything less than the kingdom of God? Ouch, it hurts when I talk to myself this way...

Smitty and I are going to see Ed Frank next week, our first look in person at the wreck of a car from which he and Hannah were rescued. His shoes are still in the thing... One tiny piece of geography, the corner of Rte. 151 and Miller Rd., was suddenly a very important place on earth. For the first responders, it was the bull's eye. Thank God.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,


PS Another dear soul from DFG finished her pilgrimage. Please pray for comfort for the family of Florence G. Florence needs no more prayers. Her well run race is over. We can only speculate on the geography of heaven...

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