my anxiety intensified. As I thought about it, I became impatient. Finally I spoke these words:
[Ps 39:3 NET]
My soul, if thou wouldst muse more, the fire would burn more. Why dost thou not retire oftener with thyself? Thou wouldst be better fitted for the world if thou wert less worldly. If thou hadst more heavenly fire thou wouldst have more earthly power.
Is there no secret pavilion into which thou canst go and warm thyself? Is there no holy of holies where thou canst catch a glow of impulse that will make thee strong? Is it not written of the Son of Man that “as He prayed the fashion of His countenance was altered”? Yes; it was from His prayer that His transfigured glory came. It was from the glow of His heart that there issued the glow of His countenance. It was when He was musing that the fire kindled.
O my soul, wouldst thou have thy life glorified, beautified, transfigured to the eyes of men? Get thee up into the secret place of God’s pavilion, where the fires of love are burning. Thy life shall shine gloriously to the dwellers on the plain. Thy prayers shall be luminous; they shall light thy face like the face of Moses when he wist not that it shone. Thy words shall be burning; they will kindle many a heart journeying on the road to Emmaus. Thy path shall be lambent; when thou hast prayed in Elijah’s solitude thou shalt have Elijah’s chariot of fire.
~ George Matheson ~
One dead fly makes the perfumer’s ointment give off a rancid stench, so a little folly can outweigh much wisdom.
[Eccl 10:1 NET]
It is sad to see how some holy and noble characters are marred by little–yet grievous, faults and blemishes!
One man is generous–but he desires always to have his charity praised.
Another is disposed to be kind and helpful–but by his manner, he hurts or humiliates the one he befriends.
Another is unselfish and devout–but is careless of promises and engagements. He makes appointments, and never thinks of them again. He borrows money, and does not repay it. His friends say, “He is so forgetful!” Yes; but how his forgetfulness mars his character and hurts his influence! Forgetfulness is worse than an acceptable weakness; it is a sin!
Untruthfulness is a blot in all eyes.
Whenever SELF leaks out in conduct or disposition–it is a dead fly in the perfume!
It makes little difference, that a person is not intentionally at fault in the things which so mar his life. Carelessness and thoughtlessness are themselves such serious moral blemishes–that they make impossible, any excuse for delinquencies resulting from them. We need to look to “the littles” which either make or mar godly character. No fault is too small to be worth curing, and no fragment of beauty is too small to be worth setting in the mosaic of character.
Remember My Song in the Night
I said, “During the night I will remember the song I once sang; I will think very carefully.” I tried to make sense of what was happening.
[Ps 77:6 NET]
I have read somewhere of a little bird that will never sing the melody his master wishes while his cage is full of light. He learns a snatch of this, a bar of that, but never an entire song of its own until the cage is covered and the morning beams shut out.
A good many people never learn to sing until the darkling shadows fall. The fabled nightingale carols with his breast against a thorn. It was in the night that the song of the angels was heard. It was at midnight that the cry came, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.”
Indeed it is extremely doubtful if a soul can really know the love of God in its richness and in its comforting, satisfying completeness until the skies are black and lowering.
Light comes out of darkness, morning out of the womb of the night.
James Creelman, in one of his letters, describes his trip through the Balkan States in search of Natalie, the exiled Queen of Serbia.
“In that memorable journey,” he says, “I learned for the first time that the world’s supply of attar of roses comes from the Balkan Mountains. And the thing that interested me most,” he goes on, “is that the roses must be gathered in the darkest hours. The pickers start out at one o’clock and finish picking them at two.
“At first it seemed to me a relic of superstition; but I investigated the picturesque mystery, and learned that actual scientific tests had proven that fully forty per cent of the fragrance of roses disappeared in the light of day.”
And in human life and human culture that is not a playful, fanciful conceit; it is a real veritable fact.
~ Malcolm J. McLeod ~