“The lowly caterpillar,” says Charles Spurgeon, “is only the beginning of the matter.” [i] Caterpillars live in a chrysalis of death for a season, but then burst forth into a new life chapter of life. As a butterfly, they’re a whole new creation, radiant with beauty, freedom, and new life purpose. “The end of a matter is better than its beginning,” [ii] says Solomon, though the meaning and purpose of life largely escaped the Bible’s wise man. Life is all about beginnings and endings … and embracing the realities of life experience, life change, and life purpose.
Posts from the ‘Leave a Mark’ Category
When I first read the Obituary Jan wrote about her mom, I took a deep breath! Even though I’ve known Jan’s mom for almost 35 years – and baptized her into the Family of Christ at Fellowship Bible Church – there was SO much I had forgotten about my remarkable mother-in-law.
I don’t know much about Nancy Leigh DeMoss, but I’ve recently learned (thank you Google and Wikipedia!) that she’s a University of Southern California grad, has written 15 books that have sold over 2 million copies, has a Christian radio program, Revive Our Hearts, heard on over 1000 radio stations and she leads a vibrant ministry. Many years ago DeMoss’ Proud Spirits & Humble Hearts chart found its way into my hands. I still have that dog-eared, coffee stained, notes-in-the-margin copy – apparently she knew I needed it!
“Just as the suffering of Christ flows over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows,” (2 Corinthians 1:5) Charles Spurgeon, the eminent 19th century preacher and author of the Morning by Morning devotional, likens this biblical truth and wisdom to an old-fashioned balance scale – placing our trials on one side and God’s “overflowing comfort” on the other. What a great illustration; the heavier the weight or trial we carry, the more the Lord offsets the ‘imbalance’ with His grace and comfort. Have you ever experienced that?
So what’s at the epicenter of this chaos over the last few months and the scarcity of Metamorphyx output since September? Well, nothing more (or less) than a semi-planned downsizing – from the spacious home we’ve occupied for 17+ years – to a cozier, much smaller abode, about one-third the size! We relocated within our same neighborhood, just a quarter mile across the lake as the crow flies, but we wildly underestimated what it would take to pull this off.
As best I can do the math, Charles Spurgeon was born in 1834 and died about fifty-eight years later – marking 2014 as the 122th anniversary of his death. What does that have to do with pancakes? Well the man affectionately called the ‘Prince of Preachers’ … who reportedly preached 3500+ sermons to more than 10 million people in his time (way before Al Gore invented the internet!), is quoted as saying, “There is hardship in everything, except eating pancakes!” But right alongside his culinary wisdom, Pastor Spurgeon has this to say, “A Bible falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” Hmmmm … I’ve got a few pages in Psalms and the Book of Romans that are falling out, but overall I’d say my Bible is in better shape than it should be! Ugh!!
I recently had a coffee with a ‘retired’ doctor who just purchased the Rosetta Stone program to learn Urdu – the language spoken in the India/Pakistan border region. His aspiration? To invest his medical knowledge in this remote mountainous setting and bring hope to kids victimized by years of conflict. For him, new learning, new experiences, and yes – some new risks, but there’s exciting momentum in his life! On the other hand, I suspect we all know people who seem to have shut off their ‘learning switch.’ For these folks, embracing change is a foreign language with no appeal. Romans 12:2 is an imperative to non-conformance via the “renewing of your mind,” but not just in a theological or cognitive sense! What an exciting proposition that each of us not only has a mandate to change, but also the opportunity to thrive in new experiences of life.