Friday, 23 May 2008
Newspapers also have the misfortune of being discarded at the end of the day - for tomorrow, another edition or issue is going to take its place. Its going to be more up-to-date, it'll have jucied headlines, the latest big stories, more pictures with the 'beautiful people' of the day and who may not necessarily be the same ones from the day before. In fact, there used to be a saying years ago, "Today's news is tomorrow's chip-paper" - so really what we see today in the broadsheets and tabloids will be used as either rubbish or other means of recycling or support.
Its funny how we as people can pick these pieces of literature up daily and be done with them at the end of the day. I mean, really - what kind of value will they have if it says Monday on it when its actually Tuesday or even Wednesday? (Having said that, I deliberately kept the special issues printed the day after the total eclipse in August 1999 and the world trade centre disaster in September 2001, respectively) These are just old news; unless info that we've heard about, already know inside out about or forgotten about. Stuff that will either go into the archives for memoir's references, television documentaries or pub quiz questions. Pictures that will go into scrapbooks or framed on walls. In other words, the important or most impacting stories/features will stick with those to whom it mattered to.
Let me ask you a question:-
If or when you bought a bible from Faith Mission, Wesley Owen, Waterstones (!), where does that go after the day is finished? Dad's just given you a devotional reading book for the next three months. Its been published for the months April-June this year. What happens to that issue in July?
Do you take much time to read them, to study them? Or are they just discarded, not to be touched again?
You know, there's times in life where people will use us like today's newspaper. That's right, I said "USE". They'll be all over you in every way; wanting to know whats inside you; what's most interesting about you; what sort of scandal you've got going about you; what you know that nobody else knows. It'll trigger off a liking from another pary but, after a while, once they find a fault in you or they decide they've figured you out, they're no longer interested in you. The harsh reality is you were just a tool for mere amusement that gets warmer once in somebody's hand and, after that party has warmed you up and comfortably placed you in their hand, you're set back down again. Nine times out of ten, that party will move on to the next mug; or they may even just withdraw from the picture without a clue what to do next.
God doesn't do that; He is with us always. He doesn't see us as yesterday's news or as a tool - a toy - for our amusement. No. God embraces us wholly, unconditionally and lovingly. One of the last things Jesus said to his disciples was "...surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20b). This was following Christ's commission of his disciples to spread the gospel and multiply in discipleship through him (v.19) and, when he said "always", he literally meant "to the very end of the age".
Its hard to imagine the end of the age, isn't it? It's hard to wrap your head around it; may even seem impossible. However, in the Bible we are taught nothing with the Lord is impossible (Luke 1:37). Especially not the love He has to offer us (1 Cor 13:6-7).
A love that won't end at the end of the day. A love that has no expiry date.
"O Love that will not LET ME GO....
O Light that followest ALL MY WAY....
O Joy that seekest me THROUGH PAIN....
O CROSS that liftest up MY HAND...." (SASB No. 621)
And I know I could add a lot more to that. Can you?
We can have a friend in Christ Jesus.
We can have eternal life
and we can have a faith so strong and overpowering to the point where people notice that you're different from others and that you don't need much else.
Its human nature to want things beyond our control, beyond our reach and that can be testing. I hope Santa was good to you at Christmas and you got at least one thing that you wanted; and chances are that you got that gift because it was within the doing of whomever got it for you.
But what are you going to do now with it? Are you going to make use of your gift, get what its worth out of it? Or is it going to go back in the cupboard and collect dust?
Among your family/friends or colleagues, you'll see that God has given many talens and gifts. As a Christian, its the duty to be a steward of those gifts, from which we either use or lose them. (Jesus himself taught about a man who hid his talents, in Matthew 25:14-30, who had them removed and given to a man who used his and were therefore multiplied) However the greatest gift we could ever ask for in times of trouble and happiness is a gift that
- didn't have to be bought
- didn't have to be put away in the cupboard
- doesn't have to be kept to yourself
"For God so loved the world...."
Sometimes what we have already is what God wants us to have, what he wants us to make use of. Its not until you sit back and analyse what's available to you how special it is.
Talents. Friends. Family. Church. Faith.
Its easy to want what you can't have - but you can have a friend in Christ and thats easy to obtain.
"What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a priviledge to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit
O what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!"
My prayer is that we make use of the gift that is knowing Him and never take for granted "what a priviledge" it is.