Friday, December 23, 2005

First things first

Happy belated birthday to my much beloved friend Ben Cloud, and congratulations to him as well on publishing two books that have been much requested for sometime. Keep it up amigo!

Next thing...

Psalm 39:2-7
But as I stood there in silence-
Not even speaking of good things-
The turmoil inside of me grew to the bursting point.
My thoughts grew hot within me
And began to burn,
Igniting a fire of words:
"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered,
And that my life is fleeing away.
My life is no longer than the width of my hand.
An entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
Human existance is but a breath."
We are merely moving shadows,
And all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth for someone else to spend.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.

I got to thinking the other day about life and careers and ministry and marraige and all those things. And within that, about all the things I'd like to do, and how doing some things may mean sacrificing others, and how there's only so much time before your suddenly old, and it would be great to retire, and live peacefully in my old age with my grey hair and my beautiful wife (hopefully I will still have hair and a wife, not so sure at this point). I was specifically thinking about full-time ministry, and how unless in a rather large organization or position, you kinda sacrifice that retirement (I think. I'm very much uneducated on the worldly "benefits" of ministry), and would really have to focus on investing while you were younger in order to provide for your family in your old age etc...Well, I guess not, cause God is our provider, but financial wisdom would still be required.

Anyway, from that track, I got to thinking about how short life really is, and what we REALLY need. You younger folk may not understand this, but I know you more seasoned/experienced persons will.

So for now, take in a deep breath,

allow your body to relax,

and let your mind wander back to the days when you were a child.

You can most likely picture yourself there,
playing in your room with your toys, or out in the front yard with your best friend playing basketball for "respect",
Or having rock wars with your brothers at the park,
Or fighting with your brothers or parents, punching a hole in the wall and thinking you broke your hand,
Or a fishing trip with your dad
Or your mom taking you and the youth out teepeeing the pastors house at 1 AM
or simply fishing down at the park, alone, in the majesty of God's handiwork displayed in the Arizona sunset etc...

Or whatever some of your memories might be, I know you can picture them.
And you can picture these things like they were yesterday. Yes, as if you were able to close your eyes and free your mind enough from the troubles of today, you might be swept back to a time long ago, but yet not that long ago, where your worries were not so great, and all you had to do was live.

Then, you Blink...

Suddenly, you are no longer in your blissfull youth.
You are driving to work after school trying to pay bills and make it out on your own, and find out who you are, and what you're made of. You still have time to play and hang, but not as much...

Then, you Blink...

It's your wedding day. The happiest day of your life to this point. It's you and the one you love more than anything making that commitment to stand by one another till the day you die, and you run out of the church with your beloved to the getaway car...

Then, you Blink...

Your in the OB at the hospital, your first child grasping, reaching, for a life full of wonderous mysteries ahead. Now this is the happiest day of your life...

Then, you Blink...

Your first is on his way to college, flying the coop, off to make something of himself, to find out who he is, what he's made of. You're sad, but happy at the same time...

Then, you Blink...

Now, your fourth child is leaving off to the mission field. You've been through this three times before, but this one stings a little worse for some reason. There's no on left, no more crying, crawling, running, screaming, making messes, it's all gone, but your beloved is still there...

Then, you Blink...

Your in your rocking chair holding your spouses hand when the kids come open the door with a suprise visit and the grandkids...

Then, you Blink...
It's almost done and gone, and yet you can still close your eyes and picture each event like it was yesterday.
Where has all the time gone? It really wasn't that long ago, was it? But yet it all still vanished in the blink of an eye.

Then, you Blink...





You see, this is somewhat encouraging to me. As I think about life and all the things I'd like to do (or at least I think I'd like to do), I sometimes think there's not enough time, and what if I choose one thing and that leaves me wanting later. Well more specifically, if I were to, at some point, enter into full time ministry, not be able to retire and live in peace in my old age. But then again, it doesn't matter. Those years will go by so quickly anyway. All we really have to do is live each day as unto the Lord, trust that he'll provide, and then Blink...

Life (or what we thought was life) is gone, and TRUE LIFE has begun. A life where we'll never run out of time to do all the things we like, and we can do nothing more than live IN PEACE because God's peace is eternal. And that other thing...oh yeah, life, we may not even be able to remember, or maybe simply as a Blink in the Eye of Time, cause in relation to eternity, what is a physical life on earth?


BLINK...

13 Comments:

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Jac said...

Wow, that's pretty cool Luke! Puts everything into perspective!

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger David Killough said...

All I can say is WOW! Well put.

 
At 7:25 PM, Blogger friend said...

And I am ready for your book.

Beautiful.

Blinks are beautiful.

 
At 7:47 PM, Blogger JP said...

That was awesome Luke. Nicely done.

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger Sheeztrue said...

Luke that made me Cry! You really understand much more than so many your age. I'm with Ben...the Book.

 
At 9:04 PM, Blogger Sheeztrue said...

Luke tried to send you a short video clip here of Joshua but it wouldn't work. How can I do it?

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger Luke said...

No, no books for me.
I wish I hadn't accidentally deleted my previous blog though...lost a lot of good thoughts and part of a journey. I guess that just means that God has better things to come. Philippians 3 talks a little about that.

Anyway, thanks.

Mom, I've never actually sent a video clip, I would assume it's much like anything else though. Simply add the file as an attachment to an email, and then I should be able to download it and view it. I would love that! I went looking through Micah's archives today to look at some old pictures of Joshua. Try again, and let me know what happens. Love you,

 
At 11:07 PM, Blogger friend said...

You just keep blogging and I'll make the book for ya.

 
At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good stuff Luke!! soo true! hope you have a merry Christmas! prayin for ya! -mel

 
At 12:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke,
Your wonderful family shared Christmas Eve with ours. She-She introduced me to your blog. I think about life in a similar manner. Especially because I work with people that are imminently dying. Some after a full life,some with a life seemingly cut short. It helps me appreciate each day and examine how I use them. Even at this stage I have regrets but all I can do is to purpose to press on to the high calling of Christ for this new day. I can identify with the speed of life. Today my house is full of life. But times I have anticipatory empty-nest grief when it's quiet in this home. Another mother shared this saying "The days are long the years short" especially helpful perspective for young families.Do you ever wonder if time is stored can it be played over? Gotta go bless you
Susan Bogumill

 
At 12:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke,
Your wonderful family shared Christmas Eve with ours. She-She introduced me to your blog. I think about life in a similar manner. Especially because I work with people that are imminently dying. Some after a full life,some with a life seemingly cut short. It helps me appreciate each day and examine how I use them. Even at this stage I have regrets but all I can do is to purpose to press on to the high calling of Christ for this new day. I can identify with the speed of life. Today my house is full of life. But times I have anticipatory empty-nest grief when it's quiet in this home. Another mother shared this saying "The days are long the years short" especially helpful perspective for young families.Do you ever wonder if time is stored can it be played over? Gotta go bless you
Susan Bogumill

 
At 8:37 AM, Blogger Luke said...

Merry Christmas to you all.

Ben, that's alright amigo, very thoughtful though.

Mel, thx for writing, haven't talked to you in a while, I hope all is well within the fam, work, and ministry. I sincerely appreciate the prayers!

Susan,
It's great to hear from you! Yes, your house is definetly FULL of life! I don't know how you manage all that while working...purely amazing, and evidence of God's grace in your life I'm sure. Is Mark still writing? I have the complete series and loved it. Will he make more? Tell the family I said hello, and thanks for sharing with my folks.

 
At 1:47 AM, Blogger CleanSlate said...

Its true. Very true. And yet very sad as well.
-kat

 

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