Friday, September 07, 2007

Something I Read This Morning

I read this and it was very moving to me. It actually came from Mikey's Funnies which I have subscribed to for years. Usually there is a hilarious story or joke that comes into my email every day, but every once and a while he'll publish something that is not funny, necessarily, but meaningful.

Thus this piece by Michael Halleen

"By faith (Moses)...persevered because he saw him who is invisible." (Hebrews 11:27)

Abraham Lincoln, depressed and disgusted at the lack of progress Union forces were making during an especially low point of the Civil War, was asked why he did not resign and just leave these fools to their own devices. He replied sadly, "If I resign, they will perish." He had looked down the years and seen a united country standing tall, an inspiration to all humankind. Moses also had faced that question three thousand years earlier. He too saw the fate of a people as depending on his ability to endure, and he went to a mountain top, on retreat, to be strengthened and refreshed in his vision of God's purposes.

Sometimes success — or even survival — is a matter of endurance, of sticking it out. There are times when the road seems to wind uphill all the way. There are passages difficult to get through—days of illness, hours of worry, sleepless nights of concern, weeks of ordinary following hum-drum. Apsley Cherry-Garrard, in his book "The Worst Journey in the World," said, "All we could do was put one foot in front of the other because we believed that the journey was worth it." Many know that journey. The way to make it is one step at a time.

Along the way, occasionally we catch a glimpse of what the journey is for. Mist may cover the mountains most of the time, but once in awhile, just briefly, the clouds are lifted and the snow-capped peaks can be seen. A Robert Browning poem portrays a man seeking a city so surrounded by swirling fog that he feared he had lost his way. For just a few seconds the mists opened and he saw the towering spires of the city of his desire. Then...

..the vapors closed again,
But I had seen the city, and one such glance
No darkness could obscure; nor shall the present—
A few dull hours, a passing shame or two—
Destroy the vivid memories of the past.

ABBA, the Swedish pop music group of a generation ago, had a line in one of its songs that said, "And my destination makes it worth the while pushing through the darkness still another mile." Moses had been to the mountain top. Lincoln had seen the city's spires. Persevere. Your destination may be shrouded in uncertainty right now, but it awaits you nevertheless. Though invisible at the moment, it is worth putting one foot in front of the other.