Each new original from Creation’s infinite sketchbook is an incomparable masterpiece.
Sacred calm my only companion, I sat transfixed in wonder, my soul overwhelmed by majesty as He brushed another magnum opus masterpiece across the heavens . . . an omnipotent, kaleidoscopic portrait of peace, signing off another day with a streaming sunburst.
Tomorrow our troubled One nation under God will inaugurate a new leader. Wrapped in celestial silence, a prayer whispered on the cool mountain breezes . . .
“If my people, which are called by may name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land ”– 2 Chronicles 7:14
A few years ago, a snowshoe trek found me high up in Alaska’s Talkeetna Range. Huddled against a boulder I watched, in mesmerized awe, as the storm lifted over the distant Chugach Range and the Matanuska Valley far below. The storm’s winds had abated; its fresh snow had mystically transformed jagged rocks into calm contours; the peaceful silence was unspeakably golden.
All storms, be they individual squalls or pandemic plagues, will end. The calm will follow.
“The mountains are calling, and I must go”. My soul echoes John Muir’s passion. As 2020 fades into history, my soul echoes, with ever anticipated passion, to someday roam Eternity’s Ranges when I finally hear . . . “Jesus is calling, and I must go.”
Until then, my 2021 resolution, and for however many years I may yet be blessed to enjoy, will simply be to remember . . . Today will soon be the last of my past days; the first of the rest of my days; and mine to live and share as though it is the very last of my days.
Covid Christmas 2020, an unforeseen, difficult first for all of us.
· Some have thankfully avoided viral infection thus far.
· Some have contracted it, endured its pain, and gratefully recuperated.
· Some have tragically lost their life this insidious virus, leaving loved ones and friends behind in tears and mourning.
For many, uncertainty and anxiety have regretfully gone viral, dampening their joy of the season. However, this Covid season will mercifully end someday, as all seasons do . . . all save one.
A roadside sign unashamedly proclaims, Jesus, the reason for the season. Regardless of whatever season we may find ourselves in, the joy of every season prevails to everyone who personally claims the the reason for the season as their own, assured in the promised eternal season where Covid virulence doesn’t exist, and . . .
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or morning or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”. – Revelation 21:4
From our home here up on the mountain to wherever this may find you and yours this Christmas season . . . Merry Christmas!
Rejoice! . . . “For unto us a child is born…” . . .the reason for the season. +
Here’s my novice pic of the ‘Christmas Star’, the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn which adorned last night’s sky. The last time Jupiter and Saturn were this close together was in 1226 A.D when Genghis Khan was busy conquering Asia. Don’t despair if you missed it, just mark its repeat performance as a ‘Must See’ on your 2080 calendar . . . I’ll be watching from Upstairs 😊.
It’s been conjectured the conjunction of these planetary behemoths in the night sky was the astronomical phenomena which guided the Magi to find the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Good News . . . He still can be found today . . . night or day . . . right where you are.
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” – Matthew 2:1-2
Ever wonder, “Why didn’t I do that?” If not, stop reading . . . you’re either still in diapers or in denial.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve asked myself that question, usually just after messing up Big Time . . . again. The good news, I find myself beginning to ask that question less with each passing year.
Thankfully, an inverse relationship seems to exist between that disturbing question and aging. Could it be I’m actually becoming wiser? After 78 trips around the sun, I can only hope 😊.
Recently, I read a couple of surveys done with ROFSELS – Really Old Folks Still Enjoying Life – all who have Been There . . . Seen It . . . Done That during their lifetimes.
The first group consisted of 50 gray-haired sages, including several no-haired males, all over 95 years young. They were asked one question, “If you had your life to do over again, what would you do differently?” The three most voiced answers were:
We would risk more.
We would reflect more.
We would do more things that live on after we die.
The second survey was conducted with a group of individuals the United States enjoys the most of worldwide . . . some 97,000 and growing . . . centenarians. Now if you’ve lived over 100 years old, you’ve definitely Been There . . . Seen It . . . Done That countless times. The survey found these ROFSELs shared four common qualities:
The ability to adapt to loss
My dear grandmother, who journeyed here for 93 years before going Home, would reprimand me when I was naughty . . . a frequent behavioral mode 😊 . . . with a ROFSEL nugget, “Freddy, you’re too soon old and too late smart.” Still a POFSEL (substitute Pretty for Really), I just conducted a quick self-survey that revealed two salient points that will alleviate my future “Why didn’t I do that?” questioning:
I need to heed Grandma’s and others tried and true, Been There . . . Seen It . . . Done That ROFSEL wisdom.
I need to remember James’s advice on wisdom:
“If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking.” – James 1:5
PS – I’m really not that old. I’ve just been young for a really long time 😊
Ahhhhhh, to be young again! . . . this vid clip is the latest addition to my bucket list and the skiing venue at Alyeska Resort in Alaska where my son volunteers as a snowboard instructor.
My skiing ability isn’t even a smidgen of what these these guys have accomplished but, Lord willing, hopefully I’ll be able to suit up and experience this someday before my ole bod deteriorates into walker mode . . . I want to die young at a ripe old age 😊
A crow, perched high on a treetop, challenging the elements of a cold, rainy day served as a subtle reminder . . . no matter gloomy the situation, every cloud eventually runs out of rain, and, as King David wrote some 2,000 years ago . . . “My voice thou shalt hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” -Psalm 5:3.
In the vernacular, during life’s storms, be they Covid-19 or of other origin, we need to . . .
You’ve heard it before . . . “Yesterday is past . . . today is a gift . . . tomorrow is a mystery”. We can’t go back and change yesterday, or live tomorrow’s mystery today.
In this uncertain, hunkered down, Covid-19 world smiles are an ever dwindling commodity . . . You’ve also heard this before . . . “Today is he first day of the rest of your life” . . . unwrap its gift with a smile!
Here’s how I unwrapped my today with a smile. Hope this Kindergarten (it was a tough 4 years) graduation pic of me helps stretch a smile across your face .
“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalms 118:24 + ^ Keep Looking Up
In a couple days another year will be crossed off the calendar since my arrival on planet earth . . . “… a time to be born…”. I think my Mom chiseled my first birthday on a clay tablet 😊
At my advanced state of maturity . . . sophisticated term for “old”, and some might question “maturity” . . . I find myself, more often than during my ‘invincible’ younger years, reflecting on time . . . delightful times, dreadful times; propitious times, squandered times.
Witnessing the morphing of seasons up in the mountains this morning, time’s inescapable reality struck me anew . . . be it nature or mankind, no one and no thing will ever escape the fact that their season, just like fall’s colors, will someday come to an end . . . “… a time to die”.
Less you think this may be striking a morbid tone, take heart . . . I’ve been reading out of context. Ecclesiastes 3:2, “a time to be born and a time to die” is sandwiched between verses 1 and 11.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” – Ecclesiastes 3:1. Yes, be you a golden leaf or a golden senior, there is a finite timeline on your life here . . . or . . . in the everyday vernacular, “You don’t get out of this life alive”.
The good news is decreed in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end”.
Have you ever pondered what happens after you’ve taken your last breath? Well, then you’ve pondered eternity. If you’re human, you can’t’ deny it because your Creator has “… set eternity in the human heart …”.
The really Good News . . . an infinite, flawless eternity awaits everyone who acknowledges their unfathomable creator Who has set it in their heart . . . take a hike in the mountains . . . contemplate your life’s season . . . and listen. The best is yet to come!