Don’t Reclaim Your Life

At the end of the most difficult twelve-month period in the history of air travel, Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Airlines, is sounding a note of optimism. Celebrating the steady rise in bookings and the gradual return to normal passenger volumes, he recently said, “As the case counts are coming down in meaningful levels as the vaccinations are starting to grow, people are ready to reclaim their lives.” It’s an interesting, thought that, and an attractive one: reclaiming our …

Why Should We Remember what God Forgets?

We serve a forgetful God. This forgetfulness reflects no fault in him, no weakness of his mind or memory. Rather, it reflects the strength of his mercy and grace, for he forgets only what would separate us from him, only what would alienate sinful humans from a holy God. It is our sinfulness that he puts out of his mind, our wickedness that he remembers no more. Though he has seen all the evil we have done and all the …

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Always Read the Story to the End

We cannot truly understand a story until we have read it to the end. Very often it is only in the final pages of a story that the author springs the big surprise, that he pulls together the loose strands, that he explains the meaning and purpose behind his interwoven narratives. If we give up too soon, if we draw our conclusions before the end, we will never understand the author’s intent or appreciate the author’s skill. So too with …

The Only Way To Do The Work Of A Lifetime

The great part of every life is made up of duty. While we certainly experience many delights and enjoy many distractions, there is more of duty to life than anything else. The God who creates and calls us also assigns to us many obligations, many responsibilities, many tasks and assignments. The great majority of what we do in a day and in a lifetime is the fulfillment of duty. Even the best of jobs and the most satisfying of vocations …

Why Do We Add To Our Trouble?

The road is narrow. The path is long. The way is rough. Yet God has called each one of us to run the race of the Christian life. Our every step in this great race is taken in the presence of deadly enemies, our every stride opposed by the world, the flesh, and the devil. The devil’s fiery darts always threaten to harm us, the heart’s evil longings to distract us, the world’s glittering enticements to persuade us to drop …

How Long Is the Dash?

Nick’s gravestone has finally been installed, and I have come to see it for the very first time. I have been looking forward to this day and dreading this day in equal measure. For months I have had to visit an unmarked grave, a patch of bare earth with no way to identify the name of the precious person who lies beneath it. Surely my son deserves so much better. Yet now that it comes to it, I also hate …

Children Who Bloom in an Instant

Those who explore the vast boreal forests of Canada are rarely far from a bunchberry dogwood, a plant so common that some have suggested it ought to be Canada’s national plant. The cornus canadensis is a little shrub that often carpets the floors of the great fir and spruce forests. A perennial, its shoots rise in the spring and soon each produce a whorl of six leaves. Come the early days of summer, a number of tiny flowers surrounded by …

Drowning in an Ocean of Encouragement

There are not many in this world who are at risk of drowning in an ocean of encouragement, of being swept away by a tsunami of cheer, of being pulled under by great waves of comfort. There are not many who receive so much encouragement that they never have reason to feel doubts, never have reason to grow weary, never have reason to be tempted toward despondency. There are certainly none at all who are at the least risk of …

The Inadvertent Trailblazer

My favorite cities to explore are the ones that have come together organically rather than according to a plan. Where some city centers were built on a grid with each building aligned closely with the road beside it and each street meeting the others at a perfect 90-degree angle, I prefer the cities that arose without such careful design. These are the cities where the streets wind and turn, where roads meet and cross one another at quirky angles, where …

Keep Your Good Deeds Secret (From Even Yourself)

Legend tells of a humble old man who wished to do good to others, but not to receive their praise. So he wrote letters of blessing, epistles of encouragement, placed them in bottles, and set them afloat on the seas where, through the power of wind and wave, they went through the world, cheering many gloomy hearts, lifting many drooping hands, strengthening many weakened knees. Like that old man, each of us can attest to the deceptive nature of our …