We have more automobiles than ever; more students in universities; more computers, more iPods, more prisoners and patients in mental institutions than ever. We also have more abortions than ever.
All through the Bible, we find hope and reassurance that life can be beautiful and victorious. The Bible tells us that “All things are possible with God.”
Some years ago, Berton Braley penned a challenging little poem, for those who feel life’s greatest opportunities have been fulfilled. Think about these lines:
With doubt dismay you are smitten,
You think there’s no chance for you, son?
Why, the best books haven’t been written,
The best race hasn’t been run.
The best score hasn’t been made yet,
The best song hasn’t been sung,
The best tune hasn’t been played yet:
Cheer up, for the world is young!
No chance? Why, the world is just eager
For things that you ought to create.
It’s store of true wealth is still meager,
Its needs are incessant and great;
Don’t worry and fret, fainthearted,
The chances have just begun.
For the best jobs haven’t been started,
The best work hasn’t been done.
In the heart of a great city, a minister was leaving the church late one night while the shadows of darkness slipped up and down the busy streets.
He met one of his wealthy members approaching the front steps of the church. A bit surprised, the minister greeted him, saying, “What are you doing coming to church this time of day?” He answered, “Preacher, I have reached every goal I set out to reach. I’ve been everywhere I want to go. I’ve done everything I have wanted to do. I have a beautiful home and a lovely family, but still there is a gnawing emptiness in my life. This may be strange to you,” he continued, “and I am ashamed to admit it, but I have never permitted God to have first place in my life. If it takes that to fill this empty place in my heart, then I am willing and ready to give him first place.”
Together, they walked back into the church while the traffic growled outside, as thousands eagerly made their way home. For the businessman, the world seemed to stop for a moment as he knelt with the preacher and opened his heart and invited God to fill that empty place in his life.
There is a little corner in every person’s heart which remains empty until we invite God to live within it.
Here is a line that may be worthy of a place on the refrigerator. Try to live in such a way that you won’t feel the need to spend the second half of your life in remorse over the first half. We all can do better.
Thank God every morning when you get up, that you have something to do which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work will breed in us temperance, self-control, diligence, strength of will, content, and a hundred other virtues that the idle never learn.
obert V. Ozment is a retired United Methodist minister.