February 25, 2023
I never expected to get this old this soon. Not that I am old, but there are limitations and failures that I thought I would not experience for decades to come. They are not insurmountable, but I can see how people with less of a sense of unseen Center and the guiding hand of divine Purpose might get discouraged, and feel forsaken or spent. He who renews our youth like the eagle causes us to run and not be weary to walk and not faint (a phrase that has become more real to me in the last year since I first passed out.
"Do not cast me off in the time of old age;forsake me not when my strength is spent."
-Psalm 71:9 ESV)
I wonder if I could apply this prayer to ask God to rescue me from myself - my own worst enemy. I am unjust and cruel with myself. My capacity for wickedness rivals the Charlie Mansons of the world. But I have hope, trust, and leaning -- and while leaning on the Everlasting Arms, I am restrained and retrained.
" Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.For you, O Lord, are my hope,Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;you are he who took me from my mother's womb.My praise is continually of you."
(Psalm 71:4-6 ESV)
There is a purpose statement buried in these words - a purpose for our final third or fourth of life:
"... until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come..."
We may have entered the time when we are not primarily building our own ministries and legacies, but those of the next generations. In many ways, that is always the case at every stage of life ... but it becomes more of a priority as we age.
We say, "but I am not done building our own," and God says, "It never was your own in the first place."
That becomes clearer with the years.
It never was mine to build for myself.
And then, there comes great joy in proclaiming to another generation.
That is where I want to invest the next phase of my existence on this planet.
" O God, from my youth you have taught me,and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.So even to old age and gray hairs,O God, do not forsake me,until I proclaim your might to another generation,your power to all those to come.Your righteousness, O God,reaches the high heavens.You who have done great things,O God, who is like you?You who have made me see many troubles and calamitieswill revive me again;from the depths of the earthyou will bring me up again.You will increase my greatnessand comfort me again."(Psalm 71:17-21 ESV)
“Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.” Baruch Spinoza
“No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.” -Baruch Spinoza“I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.” -Baruch Spinoza
"Prayer and poetry are the closest of kin. In poetry we say it; in prayer we become what we say… - Eugene Peterson"Charity is without fear: having given all that it has, it has nothing left to lose." - Thomas Merton