Saturday, May 19, 2012

Little Lesson: Reflections (REPRINT 2003)

I was driving past the lake, admiring the reflection of the trees against the water and the sparkle of the sun on the snow.  It looked so beautiful, but at times I had to turn my head away because the sun bouncing off of the scenery blinded me.  The light was so bright that it actually hurt, and it took my focus off of the road ahead.  Fearing that I'd end up in the ditch, I was forced to search for that yellow line in front of me.

Reflections in life can put us in a ditch, too.  Not in the same way that the sun bounces off of the water droplets and blinds our eyes,  but by looking back and contemplating the images of the past.   Looking back once in a while to enjoy a pleasant memory, or maybe to draw on past experiences to prevent future mistakes, is a good thing.  Other times,  it becomes dangerous and even painful.   We're designed for forward motion.   Moving forward, whether walking, running or driving,  becomes very complicated, even injurious,  if your eyes are focused behind you.   God intends for us to keep moving ahead, with our eyes trained on that path that He has for our lives.  We are not to dwell on what's behind us, on those "reflections" of years past.  They tend to mire us in self-pity, bogged down by a lot of "what if's" and "if only's".  They hold our feet fast, and prevent us from doing what God has called us to do for fear of adding to our list of failures.  It's time to turn around.  The past is the past, and today is a new day.  

Praying that today you will see the beauty of your life as it reflects the light of Christ, and that you can find peace in the releasing of those painful reflections.  That you will be able to forget what is behind, and strain toward what is ahead, as you press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:13-14 (paraphrased)  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Little Lesson: On Angel's Wings

There's something about the death of someone young that causes us all to stop and ponder our humanity.  As much as we realize that we have a beginning and an end, we feel certain that we won't meet that end. At least, not for a long while.  Then, the years creep by, and we feel proud to have cheated death for so long.  We become overly confident, immortal.  We focus ahead, afraid to turn to either side for fear of what we might see.    At times, we are successful, but that success is quickly replaced by mourning when we catch a glimpse of the end.  Who allowed this turning to the last chapter of the book? Who gave permission for the last Act?

To the mourning family and friends, there are no words of comfort big enough to fill the empty space.  There aren't any pearls of wisdom that will take away the pain.  It is as if they have become trapped in a soap bubble, fragile and floating along with the breeze.  From high above, they see others going on with life, when at any moment they feel they will burst and fly away on the wind.

It is at times like these, that I am reminded about the compassion of our God.  I see, in my mind's eye, Him reaching down and scooping up the hurting, drawing them close, ever so gently.  He is so cautious with how He carries them, that they hardly know He's there. While they cry, their tears pool in His hands.  While they grieve, He folds His hands closed and shelters them, and when they howl from the very depths of their being, He carries them and speaks quiet words of encouragement that only their hearts can hear.

"...those who mourn are lifted to safety"  Job 5:11

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."  Matthew 5:4

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4:  " There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance."