Something about good stories makes me long to be the characters–heroic, simple, pure and plain, witty, just, true, beautiful. I was reading Prince Caspian the other day and began to have that wish again, that I were such a young man as he, destined for a throne which I must fight to win from the hands of wicked men. Surrounded by goodly men and brave, I would battle and calculate and consider and decide in every hour the acts of faith which would lead me thus (always humbly thankful that there is a great Lion standing tense nearby, dangerous in His goodness and eager that I should have the day’s victory). What a difference comes to a man who knows he is meant for greatness…
(Even as I write, I wonder, can you follow my thinking when I say that this knowledge and greatness are no arrogant thing? For a man may be truly great and all the while know He Who is greater still; a man may speak and act with supernatural authority, because he himself is under authority. This is what I mean…)
…such a man may dare great things indeed! But surely I do fight wickedness within that I might win the prize, and a part of that prize is a crown! So I think of it–how would I live if I knew that I were one day to rule a great kingdom? How would you?
I was wondering about this yesterday as I sat on a very large rock on Signal Mountain, looking out across the river valley, and my journal alone receives those thoughts, but here is a sum: we who belong in Christ, and are found in Him, we are also co-heirs with Him, and His promises are true which tell of the heaven and earth to come. We are stewards and slaves of nature now, but then we shall be masters and kings! Not gods but kings; kings and kingdoms are His and in His hands, and so shall we be, rulers of dominions and kings of kingdoms, and He shall be our King of kings!
Have you ever looked at life in such a way? Perhaps not…it seems the stuff of egomaniacal cults or selfish religions, and I hope you understand I am not urging any man to embrace Christ for the sake of dominion. Whenever I look out across great spaces of the earth, I am immediately struck by the complete sensation that I am both master of the earth (by God’s original command) and but a tiny, fallen creature in it! God made man ruler over the earth; yet even the smallest of that earth’s boulders might dash my head to bits. So we are weak: we do not come to Christ that we might have power of our own–truly we come as beggars and enemies of God, desperate beyond hope that we might only Live and delight in His power.
And still, God has plainly told us we shall reign with Christ that we might be blessed by this knowledge! We shall never be as worms or microbes, nor the beasts of the field; we shall be kings and queens! In the grand scheme, a king is still a very small thing, smaller probably than we even imagine…yet with a greatness, too, which our common days and common efforts rarely afford us.
By grace, look at your day today from the eyes of an heir apparent to a throne…
::Edit:: I had the privilege of spending a few hours with Claire this afternoon, just singing and playing some of our songs, recording them for a project she has in business class. She was kind enough to let me ruin some of her songs (by dreadful drumming and other accompaniment–grin), but in all the songs sounded really awesome and she should be very proud! If you have not had the pleasure of hearing her sing, you are totally missing out on a blessing from the Lord…I recommend you visit her page and pester her till she sings for you or sends you a cd.
yesterday i sat and looked out the window at a tree, admiring how beautiful its branches were as they moved gracefully with the wind. and then i saw the tree behind it, different and still just as beautiful; it too moved with the same wind dance. and then my eyes focused farther, to the tree behind it, and the tree behind it… all so beautiful and unique. i was astounded by how many were visible from the small piece of earth where i stood. “every good and perfect gift is from God.” amazing. how great He is. this post reminded me of it again, so i thought i’d share. : )
as far as the relationship question, i am probably a peculiar case study. i never seriously dated until last year. when i was young, i watched my parents go through a particularly horrible divorce, which, i believe, seriously scarred me in the relationship department for a long time. i never felt safe trusting someone with my heart (at least in the romantic sense). i was able to have a number of healthy friendships with males, but when they pushed for more i simply couldn’t (by the time i turned 18 i felt like such a crazy for never dating that i actually decided to accept an offer (which turned out horribly, and then i fell back into my refusal and refusal tendencies)). anyway, last year i began dating a wonderful man, and i could not love him more (however, i always say that and then i find i keep falling more and more in love with him. curious how that works). he has been a believer for much longer than i have (i came to Christianity gradually over the past 4 years), and he is my most gentle teacher, my wisest counselor, and my best friend. there is no other single person in my life who has taught me what real love means more than he has. he always protects me, and i trust him absolutely; i have never felt safer with anyone else. i am truly lucky just to know him, and i can say, without hesitation, that he is far and away the best man i have ever known (and i know some really, really great guys). (oh goodness! i realize that i have already written so much – the truth is, i could go on and on. all of my friends have learned by now that they should never ask “how derek is” unless they have a min of 2 hours to listen about “how derek is”. how is derek? …derek is wonderful, he is brilliant, he is amazing, i am so thankful for him… you can see how it goes)
anyway, i have learned a few things that i thought might specifically pertain to your work (i can’t encourage you enough in the work that you do, btw. i know it must be hard sometimes, especially talking to such awkward age groups and having your message contradicted a million times everyday by the media – but the harder the work gets, the more desperately its needed. i pray that the seeds you are planting will sink in, take root, and grow. and i admire you whole-heartedly for planting them ). looking back on my life, i am truly thankful that i did not have many “relationships”. in the absence of romance, i learned to develop healthy friendships with the opposite sex. instead of dating, i cultivated sisterly affection and love for the males in my life. this is something that i feel is terribly missing in our society (especially in high schools and junior highs). i think our highly sexualized culture wants to turn every male/female encounter into a romantically interested one. we see it everywhere: tv shows, commercials, billboards… the list goes on and on. the media portrays most male/female relationships as sexually charged. how awful! not only does this promote promiscuity and polyamorous, but it also robs people of the joy of having true friendships with the opposite sex. also, i feel that if my heart had been through many loves, if i had not waited until someone as wonderful and trustworthy as derek had come into my life, i would be incapable of loving him so freely and purely. thus, 2 substantial joys would have been robbed from me (or they would be in serious jeopardy, at least) by premature romantic conquests: my ability to love the opposite sex with a wholly sisterly affection, and the depth of trust and love i have for my beloved. in short, i believe it is wisest to wait as long as possible to date, and to truly know the person with whom you enter a relationship (and, obviously, to follow God’s laws for chastity. it brings to mind those happy words in John 15, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full…”)
hmmm… i realize that this is quite long. i guess i had an awful lot to say. sorry about that (and also the spelling and puncuation mistakes, which are probably ubiquituos throughout. you’d never guess i was an english major ; ))
Yes! I know exactly what you mean. Doesn’t it make you feel just free?! Free to go and conquer…conquer your flesh, conquer principalities and powers, conquer fear! I met some young men this past weekend who have greatness in them. I can’t wait to watch the Lord bring it out.BTW, we drove through your state…twice. *smiles* Conference in Louisville, KY. Three buses up from TX. It’s beautiful country. I’d like to hike around up there sometime, or go mountain biking. We were delayed in Memphis trying to get breakfast at a Denny’s. (Imagine three bus-loads of people converging on a downtown Denny’s and TGI Fridays.) We couldn’t understand why one of our tables didn’t get their food until about 15 min. after everyone else was done…until we drove through Nashville and saw a church next to the highway that had been hit by a tornado. Fifteen minutes earlier and we would have been in the middle of it. I saw God take specific care of me/our group in the biggest and tiniest ways over and over and over again.I should post about that, huh. I’ve been noticing His care a lot lately.
Don’t tell…but I used to sit downstairs pretending to watch TV, but really I would listen to Claire as she played her guitar and sang. Beautiful! Her heart for praise always brought tears to my eyes.
Next time I come over, we can make swords and I’ll fight you for your couch which will have to substitute for your throne..
And yes, when Claire opens up and sings from her heart it is awe inspiring. A real gift from God.