Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Luxury of Home

Joe’s spiritual eyes fought the tangle of confusing and congested growth that confronted him. Beyond his present turmoil, he foresaw a paradoxical, learned, and luscious life. It seemed eons away, but the freshness of what he sensed pushed him forever forward. He took a step, and whoosh, the thick brush slapped him in the face. It stung. He touched his nose and looked at his finger. He saw blood.

A “Dang” etched its way through Joe’s clenched teeth. “Hope that’s not an omen.” However, an omen didn’t scratch the surface of the harshness he faced. With his proverbial machete, one whack after another, he carved a path through the underbrush that always seemed denser than he believed he had the power to break through.

Each time, though, he found the strength to chop one more time until he found a wide spot in the undergrowth. Each time, though, he’d find a place where he could sit and rejuvenate and experience joy and satisfaction. Joe didn’t understand, but it seemed that although his slashing and hacking didn’t get easier, or less frequent, he felt he didn’t need to rest as long in those wide spots.

Frequently, he’d find two interwoven paths that appeared to lead to the destination he felt gently, but firmly, led to discover. Nevertheless, the two paths would eventually veer off in different directions and he had to choose which one to travel.

He always had to choose between a narrow path and a wide one.

At first he’d travel a ways on each path before deciding which one to follow. He found that he always had to hack brush on the narrow path, but the undergrowth on the wide path was always beaten down and he didn’t need to hack.

But, the thought of changing paths never really tempted Joe. He stayed on the narrow one because that’s the one he been on since he started, and he knew he shouldn’t change routes in the middle of a journey.

Besides, on the narrow one he knew he’d get glimpses of the luscious life that lay ahead, but that didn’t hold true with the wide path.

Whenever he tired and felt he couldn’t hack anymore, Joe knew a rest spot would appear that would bring a reprieve from struggling. It always came. Whenever he rested from his trials, he’d look through the brush to try and glimpse that luscious life that lie ahead.

Sometimes he’d get a glimpse and sometimes he wouldn’t, but even when he didn’t he knew it existed and at an appointed time he’d be there.

One day, while resting, Joe felt he could no longer find the strength to fight the thick brush on the narrow path. He simply wanted to stay in that wide spot and not go any further.  

Without actually getting there, his brush cutter, his lifelong partner and faithful companion, had guided him as close to the luxurious living as possible.

In total peace and fearing no evil, Joe, who’d fought the good fight on the narrow path, lie down and put his well worn brush cutter on his chest. In peace, he closed his eyes and went to sleep.

He awoke in a rich green pasture and felt rested. For the first time ever he felt a complete rest. The soft and thick grass tenderly held his head in its green warmth and softly supported his body. He wiggled his fingers and toes and the blades slipped between all twenty of them and left a tingly sensation.

He turned his head and his eyes settled on still waters. The waters didn’t ripple or have waves. Like Joe, lying in the soft, thick, green grass, the waters lay in perfect peace. His mind whirled. “Wow, in this paradoxical, learned, and luxurious life even the waters are peaceful.”

In perfect peace, with no fear, he now understood the rod and staff. They protected him from his enemies, including himself. The presence of God anointed him. Good news and mercy surrounded him. He’s home, forever in the house of the Lord.

A shadow eclipsed Joe, and he looked up and saw his Shepherd holding his eternal staff. “His Lord said to him, ‘Well done good and faithful shepherd; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” Matt. 25: 21

Scripture is from the NKJV

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