Monday, September 20, 2010

Old Iron: A Lesson in Humility

In the early 20th century, Samuel Logan Brengle preached all around the world. Brengle was a talented man who spent a lifetime managing his ego. In his journal are these revealing words:

"If I appear great in their eyes, the Lord is most graciously helping me to see how absolutely nothing I am without him . . . The axe cannot boast of the trees it has cut down. It could do nothing but for the woodsman. He made it, he sharpened it, and he used it. The moment he throws it aside, it becomes only old iron. O that I may never lose sight of this."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

No Place for a Little Boy

The other day some of us were talking around the coffee pot, sharing childhood stories of the first day of school, starting off to kindergarten, and such. Someone asked about our earliest memory, at least our first conscious memory. Mine is very vivid. I remember my family quietly huddled around our black and white television, watching the funeral procession of President John F. Kennedy. I knew something significant must have happened for all ten of us to be gathered, to be so quiet, to be so focused on this sad, black and white parade.
I remember the little boy, John Jr., bravely standing near his mother, saluting as his father's flag-draped casket was carried away. I remember the sound of the hoofs on the pavement, a riderless horse. I remember the guns booming their salutes. But little John Jr. held my attention. Just a three year old boy whose world would never be the same again. Just a three year old me. I was just two months short of my fourth birthday.

Somehow I guess this three year old boy learned on that sad, dark day that this world I was just beginning to see and understand wasn't Disney World or Neverland or Paradise. This fallen world is often touched with tragedy, prone to tears, and sometimes no place for a little boy.