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“A GLORIOUS WARM-UP” – June 26

June 27, 2013

“For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten.  How the wise dies just like the fool!  So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.” Ecclesiastes 2:16-17

Civil War Veterans

Civil War Veterans (Photo credit: Tipton Genealogy)

Old black and white photographs have a way of capturing my imagination beyond any portrait painting.  Gazing into images of real people with stern and dower expressions cause me to wonder about by-gone ages.  I am easily entertained speculating about what their thoughts and dreams might have been; hypothesizing as to their adventures or romances.  Had they been respected or despised?  Were they a hero or a coward?  Did they have a sense of humor?  What did their laugh sound like?  Were they kind?  Did they love?  Were they loved?

Unfortunately, one cannot deduce much about who a person really was from a photograph.

My parents have many such photographs hanging on their wall.  Their hallway has a gallery documenting my family lineage.  The characters in those images have names, many of which I cannot remember.  They have titles such as great-great-grandfather, great-grandmother, cousins, uncles and aunts who passed decades ago.  They represent a vast network of expanding branches emanating from what is my family tree.

However, these images don’t connect with me beyond a fascination that I contain some of their genetic composition…which is not very comforting considering the general unattractiveness of many of my fore-fathers.

Any connection to these images only begins towards the end of the hallway with the images of my Grandparents.  I knew them.  I played games and laughed with them.  I worked with them.  I listened to the stories that they told.  I knew of their thoughts and dreams.  I was told of their adventures and romances.  I knew that they loved me.

They were so much more to me than an image in a photograph.

Yet, I realize that they are but another image in a long line of images to my children.  My children never knew my grandparents.  Their connection to my grandparents mirrors my own connection to the portrait of my great-great-grandfather.  I am saddened to know that the memories of people who I loved are being lost to unrelenting pressure of time’s passage.

The speed at which we are lost to history is astonishing.  The majority of us will be consumed into the fog bank of the past within a generation or two.  The knowledge of who we really were will simply fade away as age catches up with those who actually knew us.  The brevity of our lives in the span of history might be depressing if this world was all there was.

Fortunately, a life span on planet earth is not all that there is for those who are in Christ.

MSO warm up

MSO warm up (Photo credit: vigilant20)

I have heard this life described as the warm-up for the symphony.   As we move along the narrow road, we are fine tuning our walk; we play our part of the score on our own or maybe with a few others; we might strike the wrong note; we might play with poor timing; we might play with near perfection.  However, no musician has ever laid down his instrument and walked from the stage after a perfect performance in the warm-up.  They don’t take a bow after tuning-up because they have not come for the warm-up.  They are there for the symphony. For those in Christ, our symphony gets its full voice when we take our place among the redeemed.  The beautiful sound of the redeemed praising their redeemer will be a performance beyond what this world can even contain.  Paul tells us that nothing is this world, not even his suffering, is worth comparing to the glories that will be revealed to us.  Those are the glories that we are currently warming-up for.  It is for those glories that we continue to diligently and obediently follow our Lord through this life.

The full symphony is coming. 

The time when we will be freed from this sinful flesh to fully glorify our Lord and Savior is not far way.  I don’t believe that there will be any of the redeemed who will be disappointed that their warm-up was forgotten when they raise their voice before the King of kings.

In glory, they will know that the Most High never forgot their warm-up.  They will know that their Shepherd will have brought them to that moment for that purpose; the purpose for which we were created and will finally and fully fulfill.

When compared to the glories that we are being called to, the value of being remembered by this world is but a trinket.

So, let us keep this world in perspective.  Let us not mourn over its brevity or our insignificance.  Let us warm-up well.  Let us set our hope on what is coming.  Let’s enjoy this life and the works that we have been given but may we never forget:

 the best is yet to come.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for giving me so much to look forward to.  I can’t wait.  Lord, come quickly.  Help me to make the most of the time that you have given me here.  Help to warm-up well.  Help me to make the most of all the opportunities that you provide.  Help me to glorify you in all that I do in anticipation of the glories that are coming.  I long for the day that you bring me to my place among the redeemed.  You truly have blessed me in abundance.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

15 comments

  1. The Lord has blessed you to write devotionals.


  2. MARANATHA! Today works for me!! \ 🙂 /


  3. Yessss, the Symphony is coming … “The speed at which we are lost to history is astonishing …” But not lost from Jesus … Every day is a “warm-up” … Peace


  4. Tears. Thanks, JD


  5. The best is indeed yet to come, both on this earth and in heaven. And that gives me great hope for today. Thank you JD.


  6. I loved this as well. I certainly agree that you seem to have a gift for analogies which we understand. That is the beauty of your analogies, JD. We “get” it. Your writing is great. I hope you continue writing forever…whatever length of time that is!


    • Carol – Thank you so much for the encouragement. It is very much appreciated. By the way, I was so happy to see your new blog. I have been enjoying it very much.
      God Bless!
      JD


      • Hi, JD,

        The “new blog” is the old blog except that I took it over since nobody else wrote on it. I am amazed that after I posted it today, it occured to me that I had left a couple of things out which I have now included.

        I know a fellow from Kenya who describes my writing as “talk-writing.” He said he felt as if he were beside me, and we were talking. I think that is neat. I do know that my style of writing is much different from yours!

        Were you ever a preacher? You write like one. I can see you giving most of your blogs as sermons!

        Carol


      • Carol – I was a preacher for a small church plant for about five years. We concluded that effort a little over a year ago. I guess blogging is just another outlet.
        JD


  7. love the prayer!


  8. Reblogged this on One Starving Activist.


    • Thank you very much for the reblog.
      God Bless!
      JD


  9. This is a beautiful post. I totally relate and have at times thought the same of the old , antiquated photos in my mothers hallway. I enjoyed the reference to the “warm-up” as prelude to the grand performance. Thank you for sharing.


  10. You are so good with analogies.. I definitely needed to read this today. 🙂


    • Thank you Kristy. I am very glad that it was timely.
      God Bless!
      JD



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