In the silence punctuated only by their footsteps, both men thought not of themselves but of a Man who once made a long,lonely march up a hill, who in the world's worst hour did the most courageous thing ever done.At the end of His climb,He spread out His arms and permitted guilty men to drive nails into His hands and feet. He endured untold agony to give undeserving men- like Mike Hollis, Derrick Freeman, Nathan Hayes, and Adam Mitchell- a second chance.To most people none of this - not what these men were doing now, nor what He did two thousand years ago-made sense.From the outside, grace and truth,honor and courage,seldom do.
The most tragic strain in human existence lies in the fact that the pleasure which we find in the things of this life, however good that pleasure may be in itself, is always taken away from us. The things for which men strive hardly ever turn out to be as satisfying as they expected, and in the rare cases in which they do, sooner or later they are snatched away.... For the Christians, all those partial, broken and fleeting perfections which he glimpses in the world around him, which wither in his grasp and he snatches away from him even while the wither, are found again, perfect, complete and lasting in the absolute beauty of God.
The conflicting missions of the two armies seemed to have no fog, no gray, only black-and-white clarity. I had lived my life in terms of compromise, rule-bending, trade-offs, concessions, bargaining, striking deals, finding middle ground. In these two great armies, there was no such thing. Good was good, and evil was evil, and they shared no common ground.
If economic catastrophe does come, will it be a time that draws Christians together to share every resource we have, or will it drive us apart to hide in our own basements or mountain retreats, guarding at gunpoint our private stores from others? If we faithfully use our assets for his kingdom now, rather than hoarding them, can't we trust our faithful God to provide for us then?
If we were to gain God's perspective, even for a moment, and were to look at the way we go through life accumulating and hoarding and displaying our things, we would have the same feelings of horror and pity that any sane person has when he views people in an asylum endlessly beating their heads against the wall.
I've heard it said that healing after losing someone you love is like learning to live with an amputation. You do heal, but you're never the same. But those who go through this and trust the Lord find comfort and intimacy with God that others never experience. Now, you've got to give yourself time to grieve. But you also need to make efforts to move forward with your life.
Tolstoy said, 'The antagonism between life and conscience may be removed either by a change of life or by a change of conscience.' Many of us have elected to adjust our consciences rather than our lives. Our powers of rationalization are unlimited. They allow us to live in luxury and indifference while others, whom we could help if we chose to, starve and go to hell.
Some take pains to be biblical, but many [Christian financial teachers, writers, investment counselors, and seminar leaders] simply parrot their secular colleagues. Other than beginning and ending with prayer, mentioning Christ, and sprinkling in some Bible verses, there's no fundamental difference. They reinforce people's materialist attitudes and lifestyles. They suggest a variety of profitable plans in which people can spend or stockpile the bulk of their resources. In short, to borrow a term from Jesus, some Christian financial experts are helping people to be the most successful 'rich fools' they can be.
I feel like a child who has found a wonderful trail in the woods. Countless others have gone before and blazed the trail, but to the child it's as new and fresh as if it had never been walked before. The child is invariably anxious for others to join in the great adventure. It's something that can only be understood by actual experience. Those who've begun the journey, and certainly those who've gone further than I, will readily understand what I am saying.