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Archive for March, 2012

I was watching with interest the tops of trees sway in the March winds of upstate New York. Giant pines asked deciduous fair ones to join them in the dance orchestrated and sung by The Great Choreographer and Composer. I pray that you get in step…

The Breadth of God

Written by Robert J. LaCosta. Copyright, 2012, No Reputation Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved

CHORUS:

Trees sway and invite us to play

like a dance and inviting romance

Who stirs hearts like leaves?

Singing a song that frees

Is it not the breadth of God,

(the very breadth of God)

VERSE 1:

I saw the trees bow in unison

I saw a cloud that grinned

And a sun that rose to shake my hand

I thought I saw an owl wink

wisely asked, “Did you ever think

That it is He who leads this merry band?”

VERSE 2:

The shimmering river wiggles past

While I wonder what its task

In this grand larceny of my heart

An eagle just had his final say

No one dared get in his way

And this day has barely had its start

BRIDGE:

A circling globe spins and spins

But it’s not the source of wind

It is the very breadth of God

The very breadth of God

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“What would it take to sell my soul?” is one of those haunting questions that has bothered me over the years.

Unfortunately, I recently found out that I’d sell out my integrity for a lot less than my ego would have let me believe.

You guessed it….Traffic Court.

I had my ‘going-through-the-red-light’ defense all mapped out. Except for one thing: it was a lie. And one lie would lead to another and I was willing to go there for the sake of shaving points and the ensuing probability of an insurance rate hike. OUCH!

Couldn’t I have at least sold my soul for the lust of the eye (a huge skyscraper or private island), the lust of the flesh (Abishag, the gorgeous young lady given to King David) or the lust of the boastful pride of life (even a little third world dictatorship).

No, I sell my soul at the Township Court.

To make matters worse, God decided to “drive” the point home. It seems that no cell phones are allowed in the court, a fate worse than death because I might have to wait to be called and that could take hours. So, I hunt around for a book and the only one in the car was the bible. Great, I’ll catch up. So, I turn to Proverbs Chapter 12 because it’s the 12th day of the month and the first words I read make me gulp: “He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false WITNESS (yes, it does say “Witness”), deceit…the truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment…lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight…a righteous man hates lying” (Proverbs, 12th and 13th Chapters).

OK, OK! I get it!

And just as I’m “getting it,” a sweet lady calls me into the closet-sized District Attorney’s office with other defendants and proceeds to be the kindest woman I have ever met.

She never gave me a chance to blurt out my confession of guilt. She simply looks at the paper and says, “I’m reducing this to a parking ticket, no points.”

“But why?” I asked. “Was it my clean record? Is it my driving history? The State Trooper was gracious.”

“Yeah,” she said, “it’s a little of that and also that you are polite and the officer probably sensed that as well.”

By now, I should be used to being convicted by such direct truth (Proverbs 12 & 13) and such grace at the same time for that is how God works. Psalm 85:10 says that “Mercy and truth have met together.”

So, I certainly Imagehad my day in the court of the merciful King.

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Believe it or not, sometimes when I am tired at the end of a day, I will actually wait until the morning to get with God on a problem or sin that we have to talk over. I AM may not be sleepy, but I am. I tell Him I’m sorry, but add a “let’s wait until my eyelids aren’t being held up with toothpicks.”

So, the morning comes. I check out the beauty of the pre-dawn sky or sunrise and the sun melts my heart. It’s a new day. It’s like God says, “Look, the sun set on those sins you went to bed with last night. I know you’re sorry for them. I wiped them out while you were sleeping. They drifted into the darkness of My forgetfulness.”

Bam! It’s done and my day hasn’t started yet. Like taking your car into the mechanic early and he gets right to it and you’re out of his garage without being late for work. Sweet!

Theologically, I’m not suggesting that anyone “put off” repentance until tomorrow or even a minute later. What I’m saying is, God does have a way of using the sunrise the way I watch my weight: I’m always only one meal away from getting back on a healthy diet. The sun comes up and it truly is a clean slate: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” (Lamentations 3:22)

Any moment can be a sunrise in a manner of speaking. Great is His faithfulness.

I say all of that to get to this: when someone sins against me, I haven’t figured out yet how to be as quick as that mechanic… to get to repairing a relationship as quickly as God does it, or more importantly,  to poised in such a way that offenses are quickly forgiven and forgotten.

That little saying, “To forgive is divine,” is a truism. 

There were two people whom I love who had repeatedly offended me and I was thinking of how I’d act toward them when I next saw them in person. Some passing and whimsical ‘get even’ shots did pass my mind. But I will say that after my recent confession and forgiveness by the Lord at sunrise, I knew what I SHOULD do. I should be poised to forgive even before OR if they never ask. If God can forgive so fast, that means He’s ready to forgive BEFORE we ask. Why should I be any different? Because I am not divine? Oh, yea, that’s a nifty excuse, but an excuse nonetheless. 

He not only is ready to forgive, He neatly and graciously gives a sunrise, a good night’s sleep and a welcoming hand each morning as if to remind us we are never more than a few hours away from a “new day.”

His readiness and the warmth and beauty of the sunrise melted my stoney heart like butter on my morning toast. Needless to say, my attitude toward those two offenders came more into line with the way He treats me at His meals. So, I’m passing the forgiveness around His breakfast table.

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