Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Life...


I was jolted awake this morning at quarter to 6 by Charlie running his cold little nose along the bottom of my warm foot. There's nothing quite like it believe me.

I decided that rather than getting back in bed I'd head out to the kitchen and feed the cats. The day was yet very young, with that quiet blue and gray silence that seems to be so typical of early morning in Iowa. The house was quiet, with only the steady hum of the refrigerator and gentle shhh of the floor vents to disturb the solitude. Fat Cat was sprawled on the back of the couch, very comfortably extending one arm over one side and the other under his head, both legs were stretched far out behind him and I wondered that he did not tumble off. Pipsqueak I saw in my desk chair, curled into an amazingly tight little ball... it remains a mystery to me how cats can bear to be so contorted. As I took a can of food from the cupboard and began to open it, I was jolted from my reverie by the cats springing to life at the crrrreeee... ptunk of the tin can's lid being peeled back. Instantly they were about my legs, swirling round and round at ever increasing rates of speed while the cacophony of their hungry voices rose in chorus... I placed the dishes with a portion of the food on the floor and they were soon engaged in the activity they had so eagerly anticipated... all the while Fat Cat attempting courageously to loudly purr his gratitude while busily engulfing the food on his plate. Pets can be so satisfying.

I set about to prepare for the day and suddenly the thought of tea drifted pleasantly into my consciousness... without too much further ado I had a hot mug of peach blossom tea sitting before me as I sat at the kitchen table in my flannels and slippers as the dawn gave way to the gentle bustle of morning around me. I took my favorite old bible with it's soft navy blue cover, worn pages, and myriad notes and markings and read from the Proverbs, the fourth chapter, and felt my self relax as I allowed the familiar words to wash over my mind again..."My Son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh". I pondered this for a while and thought about what the words meant... I have known for a long time the value of wisdom, but only within the last year or so have I felt that I truly grasp how wisdom interacts with knowledge. Many people, especially here at the university, have great knowledge and learning... and yet, I am reminded that though their education and learning is so advanced, they are as fools... for many of these deny the One who made them. The Lord by wisdom founded the earth... wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. When all is said and done, all the research accomplished, all the texts written, all the lectures exhausted... The fear of the Lord is still the beginning of knowledge. All basis for knowledge apart from this simple truth is true folly, for we deceive ourselves if we think that true understanding of reality can be obtained from a source outside of the Founder of that reality.

As I sit and write, I think again of the verse God gave me at the beginning of this new year... Philippians 3:10. It's so easy to get out of focus concerning what things are really important... especially when I consider that every earthly thing I do... including breath, is a temporary activity. The principle thing is exactly what that verse is talking about... "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death..."
I must remember, as per the words of Proverbs 4:26, to ponder the path of my feet, and let all my ways be established. Let us not turn to the right hand or the left my brethren- but let us press on for the goal that lies before us... God's will for our lives, not only in this world we now know, but in the wondrous world to come.

Grace and peace,
Ben

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