Having lived almost seven decades, it is possible I have learned a thing or two. I know that one day I must stand before my Creator. Who is He? How well do I know Him? The Son of the Father, in what is known as the great intercessory prayer, declared that “…this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) How can we come to know Him? Certainly not by meaningless platitudes, for except we apply sincere repentance in our lives, and commit, with all our heart, mind, and main to keep His commandments to the end of our days, we will have not an inkling of Him, for He will not be mocked by fawning insincerity. Unto Simon Peter, the resurrected Lord posed the question: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest me more than these?” These? “These,” are anything and everything which would serve as a barrier between us and Him. We must give up all our sins to know Him! “For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:16) Much is at stake, for in this tiny sliver of time we call life, we by our thoughts, language, and the actions that follow, are deciding our fate in eternity. Can we not do better? Indeed, we must! Begin now, by quiet and thoughtful acts of kindness, and by and by, pride will slip away, to be replaced by humility. True and sincere repentance will follow. Then will the Lord lead you by the hand, and your light will begin to rise in obscurity. Is that not marvelous to the thought?
There is something to be said for valiant stands against the odds. In Ted Cruz we find the makings of statesman, and not a politician. He has pitted himself against the Democratic Party and the aptly named ‘Surrender Caucus’ of Make Believe Republicans. “I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for the people of Texas, and I fight for them… far too many people get elected and they think they’re there to be part of the club.” Bravo, Senator Cruz! From one of his detractors, Senator Lindsey Graham, “The political marketplace will determine Ted Cruz’s future. We helped President Obama when he needed our help the most…” Correct on the first point, Senator Graham. Ted Cruz’ future seems secure, via the political marketplace. The second point will also affect you politically, but not in the way you suppose. We turn to history as a teaching tool. Benedict Arnold displayed evidences of military genius, above and beyond any mustered by either side during this country’s Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, he is remembered as a military genius by but a few, chiefly because most folks cannot get past the fact that he betrayed his country. In like manner, you and you allies may find the atmosphere at the polls a bit chilly. In a condescending manner you have with premeditation chosen to ignore an important five word phrase. The five word phrase? THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.
“Into each life some rain must fall
But too much is falling in mine
Into each heart some tears must fall
But some day the sun will shine…”
So went the song made popular by the now departed Ella Fitzgerald. Much truth is found in those words. Life was not meant to be trouble free. In fact, if we will look closely, we will discover that our periods of greatest growth came during times of trial. It is in the struggle, the swimming against the current, when we achieve real fulfillment. As a trainer of fighters, I would have poorly prepared them for the battle had I been easy on them in training. No! I tested them to the limit of their endurance! The result, more often than not, was victory in the contest. More important, in the process, character was built, and success in life followed.
Is it not so with our Creator, who looking down on each of us, is often compelled to say, “whom I love I chasten?” But, with the chastening, if we will humbly submit, comes deliverance. When we are knocked to our knees, we have choices to make. We may murmur, complain, and go so far as to curse the heavens. On the other hand, perhaps some repentance is needed, that we might align our lives to the will of the Almighty. Is it not time to be of service to others even less fortunate than ourselves? We are not so beaten that we cannot look around us to find someone in more dire circumstances! Can we not deal bread to the hungry, and help others undo their heavy burdens? If we will do so with a repentant heart, we will find that gradually our own cares will dissipate, for our light shall break forth as the morning, and the Lord will be our guiding light. We can do no better.
In those darkest of moments, when rejection and defeat beset us, having pleaded for understanding, we must summon the courage to finalize each heart rending petition with the words, “Thy will be done, O Lord”. Then shall we learn that the things which matter most, in time and in eternity, come in His own time, and in His own way, and according to His own will. I know this is so, and blessed be my God for it. (Cristobal Lopez)