BELOVED IN 2009 WHEN RECOVERING FROM A DELICATE SURGERY WHICH CONFINED ME TO A WHEEL CHAIR, I GAINED UNDERSTANDING INTO VARIOUS ASPECTS OF LIFE. THIS WEEK WHILE GOING THROUGH THE BOOK I DECIDED TO SHARE WITH YOU SOME OF THESE INSIGHTS FROM MY BOOK, REFLECTIONS, TAKING A SECOND LOON AT LIFE. BELOW IS THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THE BOOK ENTITLED “THIS THING CALLED LIFE”
1. THIS THING CALLED LIFE
“Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?” And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out of his presence.” (Gen 47: 7–10)
It is so serene and sublime yet its basic questions
Have conjured the deepest surmising and assumptions
Of the wisest and the noblest;
Of literary giants and philosophers,
And of the mundane as well as the inspired.
Some have called it a ‘stage’
Where everyone comes to act out their assigned roles
And then goes away.
Others have called it a ‘brief candle’ which soon burns out,
A ‘flower’ which soon withers and whose place goes into oblivion;
And ‘erosion’ which soon dissipates after the rain-
Because of its brevity.
Yet others, considering its apparent meaninglessness,
Have called it a ‘dream’ which is so illusionary,
And ‘a tale told by an idiot’
O what is this thing called LIFE
Of whose description, though multi-faceted,
Are mostly true
And to which many more could be added without exhaustion?
If we were to call it a JOURNEY, we would be perfectly right;
A sacred gift of the Eternal God,
The source and origin of all Life;
Jacob called his a Journey
Referring to its quantum and circumstances
Yes, this thing called LIFE is a JOURNEY
From the cradle to the grave;
From the ‘Here-Under’
To the ‘Other-Side Yonder’
Though God gives us the free-will to make our choices
In His Omniscience He knows what these will be
And determines without guilt
The quantum and vicissitudes of our Journey
O what joy, what bliss, what exhilaration,
When the traverse of our Journey passes through
A period of sunshine;
When the storms are still,
And everything is smooth-sailing.
Then from nowhere,
The unexpected happens;
Then we wonder, whine and wail
Why the tempests and the turbulence.
For though we know one day the storms may arise,
And could cause billowing waves to roll;
Though we know thick clouds could stretch across the sky
And prevent the sun from shining;
Though the rains may not come in due season
And thus affect our harvest,
Much oft than not
We expect the path of the godly
To always lead through
‘Sugar-Candy Mountains where there are Seven Sundays in a week’
Often do we wonder in despair
Why bad things happen to good people
And glibly conclude that life is not fair.
But who told you this thing called LIFE is meant to be fair?
Life is not always fair—by OUR definition!
For who is mortal and sinful man to
Determine the foundations for divine truth and justice
And establish what is fair and unfair?
It is the Almighty God who decides;
God in His sovereignty decides
What landscapes and vicissitudes should characterize our journey.
For, for His pleasure we were created
And for His glory we exist.
Thus, as long as we walk in His ways
And obey His statutes,
Whether our journey leads us to scale mountain heights
Or descend dangerous cliffs or gorges;
Whether it leads us through the fiery furnace
Or the roaring waters;
His abiding presence is assured,
And though neither we nor friends and foes understand,
His invisible Hand will lead us
And supply everything we need
To complete this journey set before us—
The journey of life—
Fully satisfied that through word and deed
We have glorified Him
And brought Him pleasure.
That is the purpose
Of this thing called life.