Alone among the naked branches,
The Robin sings his tune.
Hastening the coming of three sisters,
April, May, and June.
And with his longed-for caroling,
Sweet benediction comes soon.
Do you have a cause?
A fire that burns in your heart, stirring you in the night, waking you in the morning?
Why do you live?
What is your purpose?
For what grand exploits did God create you?
Yes, my friend. Exploits.
“…the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”
You were created for exploits- for grand adventures and daring schemes. An exploit is not a safe, timid, cute creation. An exploit is daring, courageous, messy, bold, and dangerous. Requiring every ounce of strength, the completeness of commitment, and the steadfast perseverance of perhaps even an entire lifetime.
While recently watching the film Amazing Grace, I was reminded again of what it means to live with fierce, stubborn purpose. To have a cause.
For those unfamiliar with the film, it tells the extraordinary true story of William Wilberforce. A British politician in the 18th and 19th century, he battled for the abolition of the British slave trade. With utter disgust and hatred for the putrid trade of human souls, Wilberforce fought resolutely. At last, after two decades of resistance and disappointment, Wilberforce finally realized the fulfillment of his cause. The slave trade was abolished; Wilberforce won.
Wilberforce could have quit. He could have given up and gone home. But he didn’t. There was a fire shut up in his bones- and he would not be denied.
So I’m asking, friends, what is your dream? To what mighty endeavor is the Lord calling you? Perhaps it’s freeing modern day slaves- trapped in sex trafficking, perhaps it’s adopting a troubled, broken child in need of healing love, perhaps it’s using your artistic talent to be a voice for justice, perhaps it’s being a true, listening friend.
Whatever it might be, let the fire of the cause burn deep inside- percolating, permeating, penetrating- until your whole life is consumed.
And then, my friends, go set your world on fire.
Never giving up.
Closing my eyes-
I’m perusing among halls of books,
Scores of books,
Floors of books,
The cases reaching far above my head.
The old leather editions and sleek yellow magazines
Welcome me to meander.
I gaze lovingly at the titles as I walk past,
Letting fingers linger over names.
So much of my life it seems:
Within these paper beams that
Build the houses of my imagination.
What far-away places they’ve taken me to…
What decadent virgin forests, maiden hearths, and starry skies!
I love every line, every verse.
What am I apart from words?
Every song and memory-
Etched upon my heart.
Books are the melody of my soul!
And so stay I,
To peruse and meander,
Among these that never end-
Life is so….hurried. Distracting.
Rush to this place, fill out that form, obligation, duty, responsibility- worn.
Worn out and hazy.
That’s what we have become.
In the blur of life, things seem foggy, less clear.
And yet- a rescue waits for us.
In these sweet hours.
Snatches of the day- whether hours before anyone else awakes, in the golden light of afternoon, or late when all the world is quiet, these moments are lifeblood to our souls.
To Brake. Pause. Breathe. Remember. Still. Return.
Return to the compass of our hearts, the North Star of our lives.
Don’t neglect the screaming of your soul. Stop now!
For these sweet hours.
Waking from the inside world,
Or slipping in a dream,
I find myself drawn.
Drawn by waning sunlight’s magic,
Reaching through my window,
I lock my door,
Turn my feet towards the shore.
Purified post-storm skies loom,
Blinding in their white.
The worn trail leads,
Bookended with grass on either side.
The hill crests.
Glory opens all before me.
The front range dazzles in falling light,
Shafts of heaven escaping from steely storm clouds.
Peaks and valleys glimmer in this golden hour.
Succumbing to the beauty laid bare,
I walk nearer the water.
The inviting sounds of lark and sparrow fill my ears, fill my soul.
With each melodious note,
My heart exhales all strain.
The very sound of glad content,
Feathered friends cry aloud in chorus to all this beauty’s Maker.
Turning towards the water’s edge,
A fallen log entices as a resting place.
Reeds line the shore,
Entering the still waters.
Glistening like glass,
Undisturbed and smooth,
The liquid reflects the ebbing sunlight.
The sun slips behind the mountains now,
Turning the water, sky, and eve into purple afterglow.
The last few golden flames,
Reflecting off distant clouds,
Mellow into silver cream, lingering pinky wisps.
The air smells so sweet and full.
Aspens rustle, whisper-like.
The lightest breeze sidles up to me,
Awestruck in this magic.
In this- heaven’s show.