Verse of the Day

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Long Way Off

I knowed very well I had done wrong, and I see it warn’t no use for me to try to learn to do right; a body that can’t get started right when he’s little, ain’t got no show — when the pinch comes there ain’t nothing to back him up and keep him to his work, and so he gets beat . . . then says I, what’s the use you learning to do right, when it’s troublesome to do right and ain’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same? I was stuck. I couldn’t answer that. So I reckoned I wouldn’t bother no more about it, but after this always do whichever come handiest at the time. (Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885; repr., Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1958), 78.)

When we struggle within about the choices to make in life, sometimes we don't even understand ourselves (Romans 7:15) and just choose what "comes handiest at the time." Without a lighthouse, ships at sea have no way to navigate into a safe harbor. Without the truth of God's word, some people come to the same conclusion as Mark Twain's character Huck Finn. Jesus told a story in Luke 15 about one such person who realized the end of his conclusion to, "What does one do about the internal struggle with good versus bad?" and, frankly, choose poorly as we all have in times past (1 Corinthians 6:11). Thinking that his wayward choice would divide him from his father, Luke 15:20 records, "And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him." The son received forgiveness and was welcomed home as his father rejoiced over him (Isaiah 62:5). Oh, to know that you are welcomed to the party, it's at home, in case you've forgotten. The important part for those waiting at home is to remember to be looking "a long way off." Ready to respond with love and compassion.

Please read Marilyn Meberg's book "constantly craving: How to Make Sense of Always Wanting More" from where this was adapted; the words in her book struck me as poignant considering the nation's obsession with division. I wanted to journal this on this blog in my words, mainly for me to remember.

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