Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
One of the most persistent sins of mankind is the deeply held truth that we need to get our own way.
Often times we have a pretty clear script of how things are supposed to play out and sometimes we will do crazy things to make those scripts come true.However...There are a couple problems with this. 1. We do not have the only script on the set. 2. God’s script always wins.
Now I know both of these very well, but I still get disappointed when my script gets trashed.
Recently, I had my heart set on a beautiful play.
It didn’t happen. Why? 1. We do not have the only script on the set. 2. God’s script always wins.
Let me give you an example of how this works.
I have, for some time, been wanting to take a picture of a full moon as it was setting on Pike’s Peak.
The story of the Pilgrims, and Thanksgiving in general, has been reduced to some sterilized icon of people in funny hats & clothes who said “thank you” to the Indians. Not that there is anything wrong with saying “thanks” to folks around you, but the deeper story of the Pilgrims is often lost in the commercialism and now the crazy advertising of “Black Friday”.
Which, by the way, in our town starts at 4am!
Can you believe that?
No offense to those of you who will get up at 2am or earlier and rush down to stand in line in 20 degree weather to spend your money. I wouldn’t do that in the middle of the day, let alone the middle of the night. But…to each his own! :)
However, the story of the Pilgrims runs deeper than just a “thank you”. I have often quoted William Bradford, their first governor, where he states of them: “Last and not least, they [the Pilgrims] cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations, or at least of making some way towards it, for the propagation and advance of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remote parts of the world, even though they should be but stepping stones to others in the performance of so great a work.”This “zeal” to lay “good foundations” or merely end up being a “stepping stone” for others is quite remarkable and extraordinary in our day of “it’s all about me and my story” outlooks and attitudes.
See, the Pilgrims were carrying on a Christian tradition…a Christian “worldview”. It is a worldview that sees our lives as not the center of the known universe, but as a part in the larger story of God. They used the word “Providence”. And they were standing upon the foundations of those who came before them…stepping on the stones that others had become so that they, too, might walk onward.
They were walking on the stones that John Wycliffe laid,
I have an old biography of Abraham Lincoln. I like old biographies—especially ones by those who personally knew of whom they were writing.
In this case, it is by the Hon. Isaac N. Arnold. Not many people knew Lincoln better than Isaac and it is probable that no one had personally studied Lincoln in his private or public life more than he.
So, I enjoy Arnold’s 1884 book, The Life of Abraham Lincoln. Some may argue that a more modern biography can weave together all the stuff that has been written about the subject, and therefore be more complete. But I think that modern works also have a tendency to be prejudicial in their own way, whether that is trying to use history as an end to a mean or simply just filtered by a politically correct viewpoint. I know the argument could be made that a close friend like Arnold would have his own prejudices, but I choose to side with the prejudices of a close friend—one who would dare say, for example, that Lincoln “…knew the Bible by heart. There was not a clergyman to be found so familiar with it as he. Scarcely a speech or paper prepared by him, from this time to his death, but contains apt allusions and striking illustrations from the sacred book.”
Something makes me think that observation might not make a modern biography.
Arnold writes of the time that Lincoln and John Hardin were riding together in a larger group headed for Springfield. He and Hardin stopped briefly in a thicket of wild plum and crab-apple trees to water the horses when Lincoln spied two baby birds that had been blown out of a nest, much too early in their lives. Hardin finally mounted up and rode on, leaving Lincoln as he searched for the nest. When Lincoln finally joined them and had to endure their laughter, Lincoln humbly confessed, “I could not have slept if I had not restored those little birds to their mother.”
It was this heart for the helpless that stirred the nationally obscure Lincoln to arise when Congress repealed the Missouri Compromise, opening up the vast western territories to slavery—an institution he abhorred. In his eulogy of Henry Clay, Lincoln warned of coming judgment through an allusion to Pharaoh, whose country was cursed with plagues and his host drowned in the Red Sea for striving to retain in bondage a captive people who had been held in slavery for hundreds of years.
But it was in an address years earlier that Lincoln spoke more formally of an “ill omen” on the horizon.