Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
“Life is but an empty dream!”
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
“Dust thou art, to dust returnest,”
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Finds us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,–act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
Learn to labor and to wait.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. … Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
~ paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Galatians 6
Oh beloved, it is true.
If we are honest, we truly realize that we are nothing and unable to function apart from G_d. However, in Him we find that we are potent force for good. And, in doing the good that He would have us do, much fruit is borne.
There is, though, a terrible reality to all of this. So many of the people who we thought were on the same page as us, actually aren’t. Oh, they are surely not the enemy. But, the enemy will have a person like us painted in a light that makes us appear to be a target.
See, when we come through into the life that Paul is describing; this walking in The Spirit, it truly is a completely different existence. We have run out of any strength to do any of the work He has set before us. And, we have become a chip of the Cornerstone the builders reject.
And, it all gets flung at us like we are an object of scorn, to be defaced, and disposed of.
Can we see it?
All of the stuff that gets tossed at us is wrong. It is horrible. And, it is a deadly toxin to our souls. It all combines to empty out within us any sense of wholeness within ourselves.
And this is where True Life truly begins. For, at the end our mind we begin to touch the Mind of G_d. We begin to walk in a place we never knew existed. We begin to walk in an open vista that reaches out into eternity, and into Power we never knew was even possible.
So, are you getting the soul knocked out of you? This may be the beginning of a new and very exciting aspect of your life! Tonight is your night. Let your soul be emptied, that it would be filled anew with His Spirit.
Such things as are most bitter to the flesh, tend to awaken Christians to faith and prayer, to a sight of the emptiness of this world, and the fadingness of the best it yield? Doth not God by these things (ofttimes) call our sins to remembrance, and provoke us to amendment of life? How then can we be offended at things by which we reap so much good?…. Therefore if mine enemy hunger, let me feed him; if he thirst, let me give him drink. Now in order to do this, (1) We must see good in that, in which other men can see none. (2) We must pass by those injuries that other men would revenge. (3) We must show we have grace, and that we are made to bear what other men are not acquainted with. (4) Many of our graces are kept alive, by those very things that are the death of other men’s souls…. The devil, (they say) is good when he is pleased; but Christ and His saints, when displeased.