Monday, June 11, 2012

The POWER To Arise!

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It was 46  years ago.  I should not still be so affected by an event nearly 5 decades in the past.'s Father's Day again and I remember that morning, January 10, 1966.  It was a morning like any other for a 14 year boy in junior high school.  I was still half asleep while my Dad was finishing his breakfast and preparing to head off to work.  He and I had a "conversation" but I don't remember the specifics.  We both fully expected to see each other again that evening.  It was not to be.  In a moment, in the "twinkling of an eye," he was gone.  The "why" questions still cascade from my mind.  "What if...?"

For years to come I have a recurring dream.  It is winter, cold and dark.  There is a terrible snow storm and my Dad is delayed in coming home.  Just before despair sets in, I look out the window and see his car swing into the driveway as always.  I am elated in my dream, Dad is coming home after all!  Then I wake up and the reality of his passing presses down once again on my soul.  My mooring is gone and I am adrift on my own.  God began that day in 1966 to call me to become the mooring in his place.  Over the years He has, and continues to give me the power to be a mooring to others.  That power He gives, not only to me but to all of us who call Him Father.  He gives us all the power to arise.

I grew up in Hampton, VA, just 8 miles from the Chesapeake Bay.  Hampton is located on a peninsula with water on 3 sides making it possible to hear the fog horns nearly every night.  Moorings for all kinds of boats, ships and barges are everywhere up and down the shoreline.  Moorings are the connection to safety for any water craft.  They are rock solid, unmoving and nearly indestructible.  From the smallest of row boats to the mighty carriers of the Atlantic Fleet...all vessels rely on a strong mooring.  However, time and weather deteriorate even the most solid of moorings.  Alongside the newer moorings made of steel and concrete are the remains of earlier, now abandoned, moorings of yesteryear.  One is reminded that a mooring is reliable for just a span of time and eventually must be replaced.  Around Hampton one can see several generations of moorings now little more than shadows of their former strength.  Since the early 17th century the moorings of Hampton have seen ships go from wood to steel, from sail to nuclear and from the 120 ton Susan Constant  of 1607 to the 106,000 ton modern day U.S.S. Harry Truman super carrier.

A mooring must be stronger than that what ties to it, always available and reliable at all times.  It is no less true for our "spiritual moorings."  Just as off Hampton, as we grow, older moorings are replaced by newer and stronger ones.  Finally the time comes when we no longer are called to be tied to a mooring, we become a mooring for others who would "drift out to sea" otherwise.  Such was the case with Joshua when Moses, the great mooring of the Exodus, died.

For the first time in his life, Joshua was alone.  For 40 years he was the faithful servant of Moses.  He was defined, not by leadership, but by servitude.  Now it was all different.  HE was now, not the servant, but the leader.  He was no longer tied to a  mooring, he WAS the mooring!  Moorings do not come on line by themselves, there is a process of preparation.

God prepared Joshua to become a mooring for all Israel in Joshua 1.  Those "mooring preps" are still valid today as God prepares each of us to moor others so that they can more still others in the future.  Here they are:



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