CHAPTER 26

THROUGH THE WOODS AND OVER THE MOUNTAINS TO HEAVENíS GATE WE GO

There is something funny about life. We seem to stumble through this dark, dense forest, negotiating all these hidden dangers, as we machete the heavy underbrush of life; forging a pathway to the successful completion of childhood, only to emerge on the other side to discover that the trees of the forest have been replaced by the rocks of a mountain. We look up towards the pinnacle of this awesome mountain and dream of sitting on its top. We begin our ascent with fear and trepidation, for the face of the mountain is steep and jagged. Our confidence seems to build as we negotiate several difficult sectors of the steep slope. Our bodies lament in pain as the razor sharp rocks cut into our hands, knees and elbows. Finally, as the sun lies low in the western sky, we reach the top. We take in this panoramic postcard view of the scenery below, enjoying for but a moment the tranquil paradise of our success, before we start our descent. As we ready our ropes for the repel down the mountain, we take one last look around, studying every detail, for this picture must last the rest of our lives. Leaning back, we give a giant push off the top of the mountain and in but a second we are on level ground looking back at the way in which we traveled.

The sky is now painted with the colors of the setting sun as we watch it rest its sleepy head behind the mountain of our life. With a tear in our eye, we slowly turn to begin the last part of our journey, packing up our memories and starting our ultimate journey towards home.

Another funny thing about life is that the further you go down its path, the straighter that path seems to become. Hindsight being 20 x 20 helps us to look back over our lives to see our successes and failures. In retrospect it is much easier to see the way in which you came then it was in choosing the proper path in which to take. One thing that Iím not sure of, though, I wonder if it really matters, to God, which way you came? What I mean is, if God chose you, like the thief on the cross, eventually, wonít He soften your heart, and come to dwell with you? Or if during your entire life you kept God at the center does it matter what vocation you chose to perform? Canít God use whomever He chooses to do His will? Jesusí followers were not made up of the scholars of the day, the intellegente. In fact God has a way of using the lowly to embarrass those that consider themselves above others.

&#Something else that is apparent about life, at least to me, is that at the end there should be few surprises. As the twilight years come upon us, one should realize it is now harvest time, time to reap all of which you sowed.

During this time, when one should be enjoying the fruits of their labor, some have no fruit to enjoy. They look with astonishment over the field of their life to find it filled with weeds and decay. Personally, I canít understand why they thought the end would be any different. If they examined their lives with an honest eye, it would, or better yet should be apparent why things turned out the way they did. Just look back and examine the seeds you planted! Generally, good seeds in, with proper care, will yield a bountiful harvest, but bad seeds, with neglect, well!!!

Continuing with this theme of traveling down the pathway of life, there are some common facts that all must acknowledge about life. The first being we must all die. Real cheerful, huh? The second is until you die you must live through each 24-hour day, and face whatever hurdle that day brings. Not every day will produce happiness and reward, nor should each day bring sorrow or regret. There will be days in which you long to see the setting of the sun, and others that you wish would never end. There will be days you feel strong as a bull, and others, meek as a lamb; and still others as one of the above mentioned animals being lead off to the slaughter. Whatever life is, itís not dull.

Something important to mention here is that life is not written in stone. The outcome could be changed that is if you are willing to change. Like in Dickensís, Christmas Carol, the outcome of Scroogeís life was dramatically changed, because he was willing to listen to the warnings of the ghost sent to him, and change his ways. Unfortunately, I canít send the ghostsí of Christmas, Past, Present and Future to help you to see your errors, but I can ask the Holy Ghost to convict your heart. Please let Him in. Let your life begin anew. For the old man is dead, and a new child of God has just been born.

One last thought that I wish to convey, for all that life is, it is very fragile. Life ends and begins anew each and every day. There is no way of knowing, that is until it happens, how many years God has assigned to your life. Just ask the families touched by the unexpected loss of a loved one. Just ask the families, after that fatal day in Oklahoma City, New York, or Washington that kissed loved ones good-bye that morning, not realizing that those same loved ones would be kissing the cheek of Jesus that very day. Yes, human life does end, but no one who walked life with God should fear death. Physical death is just a transition into a better life. At first a spiritual life, then at the sound of the trumpet, a life with a new, glorified, heavenly body. A life without end, Amen!

Life is meant for living and is not to be feared. Enjoy each day for each day gone by brings each an every one of us even closer to our heavenly reward. Mr. Og Mandingo, in his books, "The Greatest Salesman In the World", and "The Greatest Success Story" outlines the way, I believe, a Christian should live his/her life. Mr. Mandingo is much wiser than I, and I concede to that wisdom. I challenge you to read his books and grow.

Iíd like to close, now, with a poem I wrote. I wrote it before I found the joy that is in Christ, so please forgive any negativity found in its words. I pray that youíre not the fool that created a world of his own. I pray that youíre not where I was, awaiting the ghost of Christmasí yet to be.

THE FOOL THAT CREATED A WORLD OF HIS OWN

I am just a little boy of ten years or so;

I am just a little boy, yes this I know.

I am just a little boy who sits all alone;

Trying to create a world of his own.

I looked in a mirror and saw a man;

I turned around and he was there again.

I looked in this mirror and said could this be;

This man staring back, is that really me?

I am just a young man of 20 years or so;

I am just a young man, yes this I know.

I am just a young man sitting all alone;

Trying to create a world of my own.

I looked into a pond that was made from my tears.

I looked into this pond with the eyes of many years.

I looked into this pond, so rich so blue;

And said my God could it really be true?

I am an old man of 70 years or so;

I am just an old man, yes this I know.

I was just a fool who sat all alone;

And now I live in this world of my own!

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