Dinner Topics for Monday
How do I find my way Home? …There is a Plan.
The following excerpt from Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality” suggests that our home is with God in heaven. It reminded me of my own piece, entitled “The Map,” which touches on our purpose here on earth. We are here on earth with a quest: to learn how to return Home triumphant and live in heaven with our Father who loves us. ~C.A. Davidson
William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworth was Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.
Ode: Intimations of Immortality
By William Wordsworth
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy; (lines 58–70)
Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (Luke 14:18)
You may have been on a tour of some kind, with a map at the beginning, and at points along the way, wherein a mark indicates your current position with the words, “You are Here.”
By now you are fully aware that you are here on earth. You may not be sure how you got to this point, or why you are here. All you may know right now is that you are here, and the most pressing question now is, where are you going from here? You need a good map.
One definition of “map” is to “plan in detail.” It has been said that sometimes we plan our vacations with more care than we plan our lives. Fortunately, God planned the creation, not only of our dwelling place, but also of us, His children. The way we turned out was not left to chance or guess work. Furthermore, a plan is provided to help us find our way through this mortal existence to the desired goal.
The first thing we look for on the map is our destination. Amulek, a great Christian missionary, said that this life is the time to prepare to meet God. The object, therefore, would be that we emerge from this earthly training session with the capability of standing on holy ground when we arrive there. During this preparation period, then, we would expect to gain experience, and be tested to see if we have developed that capability. Just as a delicate butterfly must struggle free from a confining cocoon to develop the power to fly, and to fulfill the measure of its creation, so we must endure certain inevitable pressures. But there is no avoiding it if we are to achieve the necessary holiness to withstand God’s presence. He allowed His Son to endure all things to pay that price which we could not pay ourselves. What if He had cracked under pressure?
Even those tests which are not wholly unexpected can be overwhelming and painful. We can’t instantly solve life’s every riddle, nor can we anticipate every problem that will come our way. The very uncertainty can be frightening. However, we can prepare ahead of time for certain tests that may lie in our path. We can decide ahead of time that we will keep ourselves pure, and that we will avoid temptations that could destroy us. Just as Joseph fled the wiles of Potiphar’s wife, so we can steer clear of obvious moral entrapments. If the decision is made once and for all, at the beginning, then there will be no vacillation under pressure which could cause regrettable consequences. The faster the lesson is learned, the sooner the trial passes and peace returns. Prior preparation can take much of the fear out of our journey.
At times our soul may yearn to escape the furnace of affliction to which we were born. But the thrust of mortality impels each to the battle front, and there is no turning back. And in the end, buoyed up by enduring obedience, we can emerge on the surface cleansed from the evils of this generation. It is all part of the eternal plan, and therein is the miracle.
Dinner Talk Topic: Planning ahead gives focus and purpose in life. *Planning, Purpose
1. How can training prepare us for critical decisions?
2. How can daily study, prayer, and keeping the commandments help us avoid unrighteous detours in our lives?
3. How can obedience to the Ten Commandments free us from temptation?
4. What is the connection between faith and works? (James 2:20)
5. How do we set proper priorities and keep them straight?
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Copyright © 2010 by C.A. Davidson