We all take ourselves WAY too seriously. I guess we should in some respects. We have been given a gift of life to live by the gracious hand of God. It is a gift that should not be widdled away by meaningless activity, lack of responsibility and purposelessness. Our life is one nurtured by a woman's (our moms) body. That was completely not of our own choice, a gift of love. For all of us, we had a family surrounding our young lives. That, too, was a gift. Granted, some did not have the loving environment that would have lead to a healthier sense of self, a more positive view of life and even a feeling of hopefulness in our world. Nonetheless, over time, the gift of life needs to be owned by each of us…there is no one to blame, shame or criticize for the steps we choose to take or not take with the gift we've been given. Yes, broader issues remain – there are systemic societal and cultural issues that impend pressure and/or discrimatory practices upon innocent lives. Yet, sooner or later every person needs to take responsibility for what they are and what they are becoming.
Yesterday, I finally got a chance to stand in the wake of history, over 5000 years of history. King Tut came to town. I missed the last time the boy king was hanging around for viewing. That was in the 1970's and I was about as interested in history as I am now in fishing. So, I jumped at the chance to take my turn in gazing upon history. It is an amazing thing standing and looking at something that is 1000s of years old. It puts life into perspective. It is rather humbling, I might add. The millions and billions of lives that have proceeded ours…very few remain fresh in our contemporary minds. Only the wealthy or the few noteworthy throughout history garner any attention or mandate a traveling show of trickets from their grave. For most of us, history puts us where we need to realize we are – in a BIGGER story. I don't really think 5000 years from now (if the Lord tarries in His restoration and redemption of our broken world) that there will be 1000s of people viewing the "stuff" of my life nor, for that matter, yours. We live in a flow of history…significant to a God who loves us and transcends the mortality boundaries that are laid on flesh and bone. They are the bookends of our existence that we neither choose or personally mark. Sooner or later, the life we live simply runs out of steam.
I realized yesterday as I walked among the golden necklaces and alabaster statuettes that I am NOT the story of the universe or even of my little world. I am part of writing the story of my life now but I do it in the midst of history. I have, for the last few years, been writing the word, "history" like this = "HIS-story." I do it for one reason and one reason alone, perspective. I live my life to the glory of the King in my heart and life, Jesus. His name is worthy to be praised…God's actions and interactions with our species throughout history is the one reality that overshadows an expensive display of archeological discoveries. Though none may sing my praises in the future, there will be ONE whom will give my life meaning NOT because of fame, intellect or accomplishment but because of love and gift.
I didn't think as I walked into the Seattle Center yesterday that I was going to see anything more than an exhibit of one dead guy. What I walked away with was a sense of life so well explained in the following song from the book of Psalms:
1-2 O my soul, bless God.
From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
O my soul, bless God,
don’t forget a single blessing!
3-5 He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
6-18 God makes everything come out right;
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs.
As high as heaven is over the earth,
so strong is his love to those who fear him.
And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins.
As parents feel for their children,
God feels for those who fear him.
He knows us inside and out,
keeps in mind that we’re made of mud.
Men and women don’t live very long;
like wildflowers they spring up and blossom,
But a storm snuffs them out just as quickly,
leaving nothing to show they were here.
God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.
19-22 God has set his throne in heaven;
he rules over us all. He’s the King!
So bless God, you angels,
ready and able to fly at his bidding,
quick to hear and do what he says.
Bless God, all you armies of angels,
alert to respond to whatever he wills.
Bless God, all creatures, wherever you are—
everything and everyone made by God.
And you, O my soul, bless God!