Monthly Archives: February 2011

That’s the Thing

[a poem by me]

To never try,
To never know
Could that plane fly?
Could this arm throw?
And could this dream inside me grow?
Now that’s the thing.

I paused tonight in troubled thought,
As in a backward view I caught
A glimpse of dreams and schemes gone past,
And wondered if somehow, at last
I’ll reach the age of later years
And looking back through sighs and tears
Say to myself in shame of pride,
Of course I failed; I never tried”.

While others round me reached and turned,
In hot pursuits, their fires burned
As mine remained a smoldering ash
With no great flame, no blinding flash.
And I, consumed, sat in the coals
With undreamed dreams and unset goals,
Waiting for the “ideal” day
Of better jobs or better pay
Or “moments suited to the task”
While one by one life’s moments passed.

To never try
To never fail
To one day pass
Beyond the veil
And hear the words I’ll have to say
“I waited for a better day”.

A better day that never came,
While life passed by, things stayed the same;
I waited for the proper time,
The day of muse, or thought or rhyme,
Instead of holding fast each minute
To suck the hallowed essence in it.

O, God a pledge I make this hour
That by your might, your strength, your power
I’ll do the things I plan today
So at life’s end I will not say
“I waited for a better day”
Now that’s the thing.

Kings and Beggars

I once heard the story of a conquering king in a far-off land. It seems he made a royal proclamation to his newly acquired subjects, most of whom were peasants of the poorest state. He announced that on a certain day in the next month coming, every faithful subject was to appear before his throne and name anything they desired from his generous hand.
The day arrived and a few brave souls made their way into the court. One man asked for a hoe with which to work his garden. Another asked for a blanket to keep him warm at night. A woman asked for a sack of meal, and another asked for grain to plant in the spring. Many, doubting his word, never showed up at all.

Finally a very poor beggar stepped up before the throne. He asked for a parcel of land with a house on it. A barn filled with livestock and a granary stocked with grain. He then asked for a months supply of food and an outfit of new clothes for himself and his family. Onlookers of the scene were aghast! They couldn’t believe their ears! Where did this arrogant fellow come from? The nerve, asking so much when others asked so little!! Surely the king would have him put into stocks and locked in a cell!

“You shall have all you asked, my loyal subject,” answered the king with an air of great satisfaction. “All these others have asked of me as if I were a beggar, but you alone have asked of me gifts worthy of a king!”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know a king like that?! Each year as we approach Christmas, David and I make a list of things we would like to receive and gifts we will give others. My list is always conservative — useful things are usually what I ask for and what I tend to give. David will often ask for fun things, frivolous things, enjoyable or more expensive things – and he will often also give those kinds of gifts.

I have noticed that often our approach to God follows the same line. I will ask for the minimal, the practical, the ordinary things: daily bread, money for bills, seldom anything beyond. And I trust God to supply them.

David asks from the perspective of a much broader vision of what his Heavenly Father can supply. David asks gifts worthy of a King — and I often ask as if my Heavenly Father were a beggar Himself: I ask as if God could be more trusted to give me bread and water than steak and potatoes; as if He wants to give me only basic spiritual necessities, but no rich spiritual gifts to encourage or enhance my life here on earth; certainly nothing of material or enjoyment value.

When God sent Jesus to us, He gave a lavish gift to the world. It was extraordinary — it was costly — the most costly gift ever recorded in history.

PRAYER: Oh, King Jesus, give me a picture of yourself in all your royal robes; allow me to see your generous spirit. Help me to live my life as if I were indeed your own dear child . . . not the child of a beggar, but the child of a King.”

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