Have you ever been there,
at the crossroads of life?
Looking both ways
but not knowing which is right.
Staring into the distance, trying to see
just a glimmer of light?
As if at a stop light that never turns green,
you're stuck at the intersection of me and He.
But the roads aren’t labeled
for as far as you can see.
Father. It’s a weighty word for me. Like stained glass, the image it brings to mind is a mosaic of different colored fragments. Some are beautiful. Some full of tension.
Strength. Sometimes gentle strength, sometimes raw and frightening. Provision. Authority. Protection. A disciplinary look or word. A few spankings. Many more cuddling hugs. And then a big gap, missing spaces, leaving a picture less than half formed.
Torrential rainfall, stifling heat, spectacular lightning, and a lone rose blooming in the backyard all served to remind me this week of the beauty and brilliance of nature.
One of Robert Frost’s 1915 poems, entitled Rose Pogonias, comes to mind as I reflect upon the variety of spectacular sights, sounds, and smells the Lord has created for us:
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven (Matt 5:14-16).
Andrews University students launched “Free Intelligent Conversation” three years ago and it’s grown into an international trend with people in cities from Illinois to Italy and everywhere in between participating. In this TEDx video, Kyle Emile discusses why he and some friends started the movement and how the world benefits from intelligent conversations.
Hope is an easy concept to talk about, but not always easy to actively practice. As human beings, we hope for many things: health, happiness, and love, to name a few. As Christians, our hopes are even greater: we hope for Jesus’ soon return, to see Him face-to-face, to be reunited with loved ones in heaven.
An oft used phrase is, “our hope is in the Lord,” but what does this really mean? Truly, the Lord gives us hope, but what are we to do with that hope once we have it?
For several years beside my front door, we had two small baskets of shoes. This was our compromise. We had a shoe rack where my wife and I put our shoes, but try as we might we could not get our children to use it. Lucas was nearly five. Emerson, six-going-on-twenty.
They've always taken off their shoes when they come in the house but then where the shoes go after that is anyone’s guess. So we instituted the baskets. Don’t worry about matching. Don’t worry about setting them side-by-side. Just chuck them in the basket. Doesn’t even matter which one…
My daughter, Emerson, was sitting in her car seat in the back row of the van as we drove home from dinner one evening. She was four at the time. Discipline was not her strong suit that day, and as evening came she got more and more out of control. She was angry with me because I had corrected her pretty sternly at dinner.