Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Devotion 2.11.16

It has been said, almost too much to the point it has become cliché rather than metaphor, that life is a "journey." I once watched a documentary about a location in Pakistan (Gadani, Pakistan this link will take you to the article) in which the ships are literally run aground to be scrapped by people from the city.  People daily walk to the ships and take as much scrap as they can to bring it back and sell it for up to £2 (British pounds) per day (about $3.50 - $4.00).  Men, women, children all walk to the ships with containers in hands to gather nuts, bolts, wires, and anything else they can carry to bring back to the company that pays them for their goods gathered.

"How much time do they have to reflect on the higher things in life?" I asked myself, then a principal.  It's not like words like "reflection" or "journey" are exclusively western in concept.  But is it a concept we take for granted if we have the ability to take time to pause, think, reflect, and renew ourselves because of our status in life?  Thomas Jefferson, possibly the true American icon with regard to the "reflective" life was also a wealthy agrarian who had a considerable amount of time to learn, read, travel, discover, journal, and think in terms of science, observations in agriculture (father of the American wine movement some say), the learned life, and the rights of man.

In other words, we learn from others, when we have time.  I lived among shipbuilders, oil refinery workers, meat cutters, men who worked as long-shoremen at places like granaries and other export companies along the Port of Houston.  I was even privileged to work among them for a time.  It was hard work, dangerous work, where men were forged, hands were shaped and possibly mangled, by the work they performed.  "How much time," I once thought as I served both them and their children, "Do they have to 'reflect' on life's 'journey'?"

But maybe I'm thinking about this wrong.  Maybe you can't stop and reflect on this journey in life until you are as forged, shaped, and worn in life as these men described earlier.  And maybe we can't stop and reflect until we realize that, in fact, our spiritual life is one of being broken. Only until we admit and confess our sin can we realize the need to repent and refresh our spiritual nature in Christ.  As we read in Acts 3, "Repent, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus." (19 - 20)

Our journey and reflecting on that occurs on that journey are not "high-minded" activity, but the simple reflections of people who know their sinful nature and turn to Christ to repent and refresh through his suffering, death and resurrection.

Hope Men's Ministry

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