Friday, October 26, 2012

A Song for the Climb- Devotion 8

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negeb!
 Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
 He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him.

I have 3 football state championship rings on my desk. They gather dust, are often a conversation piece, and represent seasons where it just all fell right. Right mix of players, right match-up of opponents, good fortunes with injuries, weather, calls, and funny bounces of the ball.

But it is good to point back to those times- it helps. Not only were these grand memories, these were times of celebration and prosperity. Tangible victories.

But these are fleeting things as well. I coached 7 years before experiencing the first one. I worked and waited 5 years before the next one. It's been 9 years since the last one. A lot of close misses along the way. And some seasons where it was a grind.

Psalm 126 is an interesting tool for those who walk the path of long term discipleship. Past victories soothe us and propel us to find that time of celebration again.

Every state championship brought on that same idea- this is awesome... I want to do it again! And the enjoyment makes the desire to experience it again greater.

I think that a fire burning in our belly is a secret to youth and vitality.

I am always reminded of G.K. Chesterton:

A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life.
Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. 
But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.
It is possible that God says every morning, 
“Do it again” to the sun: and every evening,
“Do it again” to the moon. 

It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them.
It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. 

The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical encore.

—”The Ethics of Elfland,” chapter 4 in Orthodoxy.

So As we climb today.. never forget the past days of true victory, hope, and celebration. Days of singing and dancing! Days where the goodness of God was so good we tasted it. We smelled it!

So that in the dark days we remember that times were good.

And we know God does not change.

So we know that the dry streams will flow again.


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