A Sunday Morning Meditation
One week after the death of Melvin Graham
Week before last, on Friday night, my brother-in-law Melvin had dinner with his family. He did not eat much. By Sunday night he had died, a day before his 79th birthday. He had lived just short of eight decades.
In terms of my own life, being nearly 72, I am surely at the edge of my last decade or two. Suppose I think of life in terms of one day equaling one decade, and life beginning on a Sunday. Then this is now Thursday or Friday night for me, the start of a last long weekend of my life.
So, how do I propose to spend it? How many hours on what?
This morning’s prayer (in John Baillie’s A Diary of Private Prayer) includes this:
Seeing that in Thy lovingkindness, Thou hast given me the power to lift my
mind to the contemplation of things unseen and eternal, forbid that I should
remain content with the things of sense and times. Grant rather that each day
may do something so to strengthen my hold upon the unseen world, so to
increase my sense of its reality, and so to attach my heart to its holy interests
that, as the end of my earthly life draws ever nearer, I may not grow to be a
part of these fleeting earthly surroundings, but rather grow more and more
conformed to the world to come.
In this light I recognize
I do not have the power to stop or slow time;
I do have power to choose how to redeem it.
I do not have power to keep my body from ageing;
I do have power to glorify You with each part of it
and to keep it fit for Your service.
I do not have power to keep my friends and loved ones alive;
I do have power to love them more than life, and to show it.
I do not have power to keep my mind and memory from fading;
I do have power, moment by moment, and day by day,
to think of the things that are eternal
I do not have power to make life’s little pleasures last;
I do have the privilege to know You and enjoy You in all things.
I do not have power to impose my will on the course of things;
I do have the power to choose Your will,
and thus to live with You forever.
Leighton Ford, August 31, 2003