Sunday, July 25, 2010

One life to live don’t waste it!

Today, whilst unpacking, I came across my 'evil day' box. This was the result of a brilliant suggestion by the late Commissioner Denis Hunter – the idea was to put into the box all the encouraging notes (etc) you receive over the years. In mine I have a Youth Council's commitment card I signed in 1977! The hospital name tags from my two youngest daughters, birthday cards and Father's day's cards made by my older children (when they were much younger). Poems and letters I sent to Tracey (going right back to the earliest days of our relationship), marching orders – too much to mention. As I looked at all the various items and dwelt on the memories they conjured up it made me realise that time is going by fast, frighteningly fast. It also made me think about all the mistakes I've made, the missed opportunities and times of deliberate and reckless disobedience.
Later, I found myself sitting at the computer and penned the following poem – poetry helps me process my thoughts when my brain (and heart) unexpectedly becomes overloaded. As General Carpenter said 'we are what all our yesterdays have made us' and life is too short to be shortened even further by regret-induced fear. God is with us, so whatever lies behind let us 'press on towards the prize that is ours in Christ Jesus'. Whatever it involves, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer the Christian's life ought to be 'life in all its fullness' so let's learn to praise God in all circumstances.

Time, like a firework, all anticipation,
Exploding in a one-off spectral splash,
It only has one shot at detonation,
One piercing scream, one fleeting flash.

There are no brakes to grip the passing years,
No gears that back away from bitter tears.
No way to pause the happy days or play again,
No way can we delete those times of pain.

The paths we never should have walked.
The lips we never should have kissed,
The words we never should have talked.
The meetings that we should've missed,
The things we overdid or underplayed,
The loneliness - and need to be alone,
The broken vows and new ones made,
The souls so missed who used to make us moan.

This is our life that burns before our eyes
And as we fly through foggy firework skies
The very least we ought to try and do
Before we fade and fall is catch the view.
There is no time for looking back
Despite our hoard of time-consuming frets,
This is our life whatever it might lack
Don't spend it all on might-have-been regrets.

Out of the box our fuse is well and truly lit,
The 'oohs' and 'ahhs' that echo through the night
Remind us as we soar that this is it.
The sparks behind that flicker bright,
Are pushing us toward the distant sun.
So what's the point sad pessimist?
Death may be near but life is just begun!
So let's embrace each unexpected twist and turn
Not worried by the speed with which we burn.

For Christ came not to skulk and frown
He came to heal our hurts and to forgive
He came to give us life not put us down
And every day that we refuse to live
We bang another nail into his hands
And freedom smarts and looks the other way
And all of heaven fails to understand
Our sad unwillingness to seize the day!

Grace and peace, Andrew.

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