November 10th – The Opera ain’t over ’till the fat lady sings’!



Here is a quotation which is so trite, so banal, so obvious that I have never previously ever given it a moment’s head room. Yet it hit me very hard yesterday, and I thought I would share it with you. Ready? “Always remember that life is not finished until it comes to an end.”
Well, I told you it was hardly a world-shaking revelation. Let me tell you what struck me about it. You and I have been brain-washed by a society, which never ceases to tell me that I’m too old to count these days. ‘You’ve had your day, so be old gracefully. Be retired. Act like it: sit asleep in front of the T.V.’ (I do know how to do that!). ‘After all, at your age, no one can expect or demand anything of you.’ In short, the word from the world is ‘It’s about time to hang up your socks, stop competing, opt out, give up – you’ve earned a rest at your age’.
Now I must confess that inherent fear and some laziness does make this option sound attractive. After all, ‘You’ve done enough and you could make a fool of yourself trying to keep up with the young men. Take it easy.’ Furthermore we have been brain-washed by the idea that we human beings can expect a secure and gentle progress until we die – ‘You can write your auto-biography now that life is behind you’.
The truth is, we have no idea what tomorrow (or even today) will bring, and we’ve no assurance that we will be able to cope with temptation just because we are old. Moral lapses can hit us, especially on the last lap of our lives. When this does occur, the world does not remember seventy or even eighty or more years of faithful service. One moral lapse in the last lap will stain the entire preceding life. We may be saved but we’re never safe! We are never free from temptation. Some lovely people with honourable lives have succumbed to despair and sin near their end. No wonder the Bible says “He that endures to the end shall be saved”. The body of one tiny rotting sand fly in a jar of fabulously expensive perfume can make the whole thing smell like a sewer.
This is from James Chapter 4 (as translated by Eugene H. Petersen)
“You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You are nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing.” James 4:14
A Prayer:
O Lord God, when thou gavest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning but the continuing of the same, until it be thoroughly finished which yieldeth the true glory; through him that for the finishing of thy work laid down his life, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Sir Francis Drake (1541-1596) on the day he entered Cadiz Harbour in 1587:
Now read Ruth Chapter 4

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Thought 4 The Day

People think that when they do not believe in God they believe in nothing, but the fact is, they will believe in anything. (G. K. Chesterton)

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