Spanish – English
So very much of our conversation belies our true nature and convictions. We say we love God, we speak of thanking and praising Him when we “are in church” or in a religious setting trying to impress others but let the guard down and listen to the words of our mouths and our hearts. Now these hearts are supposed to be the new ones we received in our “new birth.” With one set of words we proclaim we are new creatures, thankful to God in all things. With another set, we let others know where we really stand. Often, the arm raised in praise has a clenched fist and the lips of thanksgiving conceal gnashing teeth.
Because conditions are never perfect, the spirit of complaint can never be stilled or appeased. Our ceasing to complain cannot hinge therefore on a change in conditions but must come solely by change in spirit and attitude. The source or cause of complaint is never the circumstances but always the subject in same.
At any given time our lives can view from either of two perspectives, positive or negative, like two sides to a coin. Each side truly exists and we are right either way but we become what we behold. Therefore must we decide what to behold.
Isn’t it awful?
Isn’t it hot out?
It’s enough to fry one’s brains!
It’s so dry and dusty….
If only we had a little rain.
You want rain? Plan a picnic!
Where did all these terrible flies come from?
Sure it’s raining…just washed my car!
If it doesn’t rain, it pours!
Is it ever muggy out!
These clouds are so depressing!
Rain, rain, go away,
Come again some other day!
It sure would be nice if
There weren’t all these mosquitoes!
Will that wind never quit?
Isn’t it awful?
Isn’t it awful?
This complaining, that is.
Against whom do you complain?
Who’s in control?
Do you realize?
Isn’t it awful?
Lethbridge, Sept. 1984
I have known fear, perhaps not as some have known it but many know fear one way or another, at one time or another, to such an extent that it cripples, paralyzes the soul. We think we have security in this world until one day we are rudely awakened from our pipe-dream. Security in this world is but an illusion. When our disillusionment comes, its comrade-in-arms is often fear. But that disillusionment needn’t be our enemy. In truth, it can be a friend in disguise. Nor do we need to fear as though there is no such thing as true and sure security, for then we would be prey to a lie, to our own destruction. There IS a sure security for those who will avail themselves of it. My fear rides me like a stern rider Rides his horse. Unless I run his pace, His spurs dig deep my sides. I think blood flows at times…I’m sure of it. I scarcely dare to think, to pause For fear I have a rider Who will not show me mercy Who will not grant me pardon Who will not make a move To relent, to ease my pain. “Run!” he says. I run. “Faster!” says he. I go faster. “Faster isn’t good enough! You’ve had it!” I think that if I drop, I have sweet release. He whips me as I fall. Fear is not afraid to beat a dead horse. He seems to relish it, delight in it. The compassion of fear is tyranny, His patience only scorn. He takes the meat and feeds it to minks, And then I think, “Aha! There is rest in the mouths of minks, Fear has no torment there!” Until I find that my rider Is possess...
To his dying day, my father refused to believe me and could not and would not understand that what had been done in me by God made an irreconcilable difference between him and me not only in terms of thought and way of life but very nature. He lingered for the old Victor he was once the father of, not willing to accept that I had died. He went to his grave lingering at mine. If only he had desired not the grave for the two of us but the resurrection. What man in his right mind would trade the skies and birds for the underground and worms? So, in all sadness, I turned my back on him, but do not regret it, no, not for a moment. You linger at my grave, longing for your son; I’ve left the darkness for the light and what is done is done. The change in me is not perceived by frail human sight And so you think that I am wrong and you are surely right. Reason fails to comprehend the things in my new life; Explanations will not do, they only lead to strife. People, habits, memories call but I’ve traded old for new; I’ve traded all that’s bad and false for all that’s good and true. I’m a stranger in this world whom you have never met; I’ve only kept this outer shell on which your hearts are set. My life is hid in Jesus Christ; believe me you will not; Your hearts are very hard and cold, for truth you have not sought. I’d rather walk on foreign soil than to this evil world be loyal, And trade the rags of dirt and toil for robes magnificent and roya...
In my striving to be conscious of God and to hear His voice and walk with Him, I slowly learned that I do not get the Lord to speak simply by striving to listen. Nor is He always speaking and I hear or get to hear bits and pieces only as I succeed in efforts to “tune in” like a ham operator trying to pick up a frequency. No, the Lord speaks when it pleases Him, and when He speaks, He is fully capable of making Himself heard with or without any help or hindrance from us. Until we are humbled and repent of our arrogance, we will neither understand nor rest. Standing atop a mountain peak, I could not hear a sound. In vain I strained my ears to hear But nothing came except a tear Because I could not hear. Cold it grew and I withdrew To lower levels not by choice, And there I felt more comforted But silence remained the only voice And still I could not hear. “Am I dead?” in pain I asked myself, “Is there something wrong with me? I should think that on these wondrous heights Is where hearing and seeing ought to be.” And down I came again. Lower and lower and lower still, Not even ground level was to be my fill, But lower and lower and lower ’til The darkness smothered me out of sight And my only friends were sorrow and fright. But I was not alone. For in the nether of darkness and tether, Down where I had made my bed, And where I resigned to live and sleep, I heard the Voice instead: “Come up!” It said, “and into th...