It is already a wonder that the word “leisure” still exists in our vocabulary. Its manifestation has become scarce, its original nature obscured. Leisure today is rushed toward, through, past and entirely missed. We are in a sea of drowning souls panicking, frantically grabbing for safety, pulling any and all rescuers down with them to death and hell. Only there will the hustle and bustle of this world cease even as the land of Israel finally enjoyed its sabbaths once the population was removed into foreign captivity.
Go a little faster, busy man.
There isn’t enough time, not nearly,
To do all you would like to do.
There are only 70 years in a life,
24 hours in a day;
A third of those waste away;
Sixty minutes in an hour,
Not enough seconds in a minute
To accomplish, achieve, attain.
Find a faster way, a better way,
A short cut to get what you’re after.
Give less to get more;
Get more by giving less.
Time is money and money is time.
Hear the rhythm of the stamping feet,
Tempo speeding, sound increasing,
Over the mind to reign.
Grab here, run there.
Does haste make waste
Or does waste make haste?
Horde your riches, busy man,
Or do you know where they are?
Pride is a merciless lord;
The Joneses must not get ahead.
Bigger and better is the code
And the mode and what a load!
Grab an upper to keep you going;
Take a downer to slow you up.
What?! A downer to slow you up?
Dare I say it? Wait a minute!
A downer to slow you up?
What will you learn, busy man,
The contradiction of your ways?
You rush to a failure of heart
And mind and soul.
You rush to a grave barely made ready,
Sometimes only three feet deep.
You leave behind the very things
You speed ahead to get.
But listen, my harried friend,
If you can find the time,
What if by the time you are seventy,
You accumulate all that you planned?
Whose will these things then be?
Where will you go and what will you be?
How much will you have of what one can take
To a world with no use for the coin,
Assuming you’ll ever be satisfied?
For those who seek to fill themselves
Of anything in this whole world
Find they can never say, “Enough!”
But rush on if you want to die;
Rush on if you wish to die empty;
Receive the fruits of a fool,
A man without understanding,
One who picks his own pocket,
Slits his own throat,
Laces his food.
Grab for peace with your left hand;
Push it away with your right.
Run for fulfillment ’til you have no wind,
Knowing it is behind you.
Hear the rhythm of the stamping feet,
Tempo speeding, sound increasing,
Like people at a dance
With the throb of music,
A hypnotic, drunken dance
Increasing its reign in their minds.
Cursed people, you busy ones,
Busying yourselves to death;
Stop if you can and consider
The vanity of your ways.
Lethbridge, Oct. 1984
While servants of the prince of darkness present themselves as angels of love and goodness, they grant their victims in part those things the flesh desires to have without cost of life. Souls are thus ensnared in their own selfishness. "I gave my child all it wanted. I spared nothing. What more could I have done?" laments the parent whose child is now on drugs or in prison or dead. How ironic that the sure path to destruction is receiving at request all that one could ask for! How ironic that our way to peace and fulfillment is in denial, hardship and deprivation until the final day! The epitome of selfishness: "I want," it declares; "I want it all," it demands; "I want it all now," it screams. It loves to be pampered and cuddled. It has no notion of cost to another, No care for one's needs or desires Other than its own. When not obliged, Its world stands still, Its heart bound in the thing it wants. A thousand things a day it wants. "My way!" it cries, Not for reason's sake nor truth, Not for right nor even good, But for self, and when denied, It pouts; Sullen and resentful, It eats itself And those around Unless it gets its way. The child of evil is ruled By its passions And its whims, By its ignorance And its needs so perceived. At every turn it cries Unless it gets its way; It clings to itself to live, Held in the grip of death. But deliverance comes As an enemy, In the form of a rod, The rod of chastening, of discipline, ...
Often and for long periods of time does God hide Himself from His called one, even as He did with all the saints and prophets of old and to the present. We desire so much to walk by sight, as in this world, but must learn to walk by faith, by the little given knowledge of the unknown, the Unknown, that we may know Him. And though He hides Himself to try us, He is always there...there is nowhere one can go from His presence. Yet one can choose to do so, and the one choosing so is not called. Emptiness is not a bad sign in itself as one might suppose. I am ill with sorrow and grief, Vexation and loneliness; My soul is filled with groanings and longings; I look in all directions; I reach out; My hand returns empty; Tears fill my soul; I cry and cry and cry; There is no one to comfort, to console, to ease my pain. Day after day, year after year, Decade after decade, I wait, I long, I cry, I heave and sigh. There is none to understand. I wait for morning; I wait for evening; I am desolate. I eat, I sleep, I cry... Is it sin I say I don't have That causes me to be this way - Desperate, sad, lonely, unfulfilled, Useless, despised, unwanted? This is not the abundant life; Though I have my carnal needs met And freedom to come and go, Yet I have nowhere to come and nowhere to go. All is quiet, uneventful, drab and grey. Do I complain Or do I merely state the way things are For those appointed to such by Divine order, Not for sin But for...
Our Lord's final stage of suffering began and His social freedom ended with a kiss of betrayal from the lips of one who followed Him for years calling Him "Master." Our journey of learning has its bitter moments, none more bitter than the times of subjection to duplicity, hypocrisy and betrayal. Such a pleasant face! What a wonderful disposition! What do you want from me? Or is it just that you have nothing to lose? How easy it is to be pleasant And helpful and polite; How easy it is to show one self noble And virtuous, even saintly When there is something to be gained, And the one with whom you are friendly has it. Here, take what it is you are after. I am so happy to give it to such A pleasant fellow as you... As long as you'll promise me To keep your end of the bargain. I expect you'll be as congenial as you are now, When once you have what you seek from me. You tell me you are honest; You tell me you are reasonable and deserving And just and upstanding and unselfish. Fair enough! Here it is! I could not have given it to a better man. But sir, what about your promise? What promise!? A misunderstanding?! I was mistaken? But you said..! I'm trying to get blood out of a stone you say? Unreasonable?! But it's broken! You guaranteed it worked! "As is" you say? "Buyer beware" you say? Why is your face clouded? Why are you suddenly so harsh and haughty? Where are the meekness, the gentleness, The politeness, the smiles? Where...