Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

March 08, 2004

Savior, Lead on!

Monday morning. Listening to an old Bela Fleck disc (Drive), something N. (who is kind and good) brought by yesterday. Sweet! After this I'll put on his more recent Little Worlds. Triple-sweet!


I've been thinking about growth this morning. About progressing in faith, about the bricks in the wall and the legs in a journey. I've been thinking about "first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head." (Mark 4:28) Often I am frustrated by my own lack of progress, and yet do know that God is refining me, growing me up into the full maturity that he has always planned for me. And I think that I can either cooperate in this learning and growing process, or I can be willfully learning disabled. I do that from time to time, because I don't want to learn what God wants to teach me. Sad but true.

Of course I see all this in others long before I see it in myself. Also sad but true. I think there is a kind of addiction to immaturity built into our flesh, and it manifests itself even in our faith-walk. I'm reminded of the novelist in Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera, who all his life worked on his one great novel, but never got past the first paragraph. I think there is a joy in beginnings that the devil uses against our ever progressing. This is why so many believers answer the altar-call again and again, or go from one church to another, getting rebaptized, looking again for that emotional rush, that exciting taste of purity and freedom, that they had when they first were saved. Paul referred to this phenomenon in 2 Timothy 3:17: " . . . always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth."

Well, that's what I've been thinking about this morning. The Bible is really the record of God's call upon His children to grow, and a blueprint for doing that. Frederick Buechner says in The Magnificent Defeat that faith is standing alone in the dark, and then there is a hand, and the words "come unto me," and though you don't really understand, you take that hand.

Savior, lead on!


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