Monday, April 15, 2013

"The Journey.........................."

”Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth: unite my heart to fear Thy name”…a prayer of David, Psalm 86:11

While on vacation this past week in Pensacola, I read something in one of the books taken with me, Elizabeth Hoekstra quoting the above Bible verse in terms of the giant slayer asking God to give him an “undivided” heart. Close enough, I suppose; either way occupying my thoughts this past weekend. Late Thursday evening, a telephone call changed our plans about returning home today. An old Navy friend, a shipmate with whom I served in ComSixthFlt during the early 60s, had passed unexpectedly, his heart just ceasing to beat on his way home from the hospital, tests just undergone to determine possible treatment for his condition. When you’re in your seventies, such loss is part of life, but never easy to accept, this one, for me, even more of a hurt, knowing another friend of ours from those days had just verbally attacked him over nothing. One wonders if the event sparked too much at the wrong time. Beth and I left early Friday morning, making a few stops along the way, but arriving in Pittsburgh yesterday afternoon in time for visitation. It was a journey made out of love and respect, the departed and I reconnecting after five decades a few years back, a bond between us restored mostly through e-mails. He stopped by once, on his way to a reunion, going with me that evening down to the rescue mission.... What makes us who we are on the inside? I wonder. There is no anger in me at the fellow who assaulted my buddy in print. As long as I’ve known him, he has been “at war”, with himself, with the world. He speaks continually of the need for “peace among men” and the “brotherhood” established back when we all were young men turned loose on liberty in various countries around the Mediterranean. His actions, however, have always marked him as a “loose cannon”. It seems to me, though, that all of us are no more than products of our hurts, our history, and our environment, each of us shaped even beyond that by the very genetics of our birth. The only sense, I’ve found, to any of it is God missing from the original creation, a situation cured through what Christ brings to us, but such restoration still not a complete remedy for what ails us. Salvation doesn’t equate to instantaneous transformation, humanity dissolved and divinity assumed. We yet stumble down the path along with everybody else, the difference just an “anchor-line” acquired and any improvement a matter of how often we merge, stepping into His flame……

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