“This knife sure is dull,” I complained to the pears I was slicing for breakfast. Lydia started snickering just about the same time I realized I was holding it backward—with the blade pressing against my finger. “Hmph,” I fixed the issue. “I still say it’s dull.” The jar I snagged for skimming the cream took a leap of faith from my hand and scuttled across the floor. I smiled sheeplishly at Lydia as I scooped it up and promptly sent the spatula flying through the air for an aerial routine. “Well,” my little sister observed pertly, “Someone’s a clutz today.” Her bowl of yogurt slid from her fingers to the wooden floor, where it shattered, scattering sticky, white splatters and sharp, white splinters across the kitchen. “I’m always clumsy when I’m in a hurry,” I teased. “What’s your excuse?”
I was bent over a pile of rickety boards, once a rickety shelf, now about to find a new home in the rickety incinerator—just as soon as I finished pulling the nails and screws from them. With a mighty war whoop, Josiah came hurtling over me and my hands slipped, driving a slender nail up my left palm. “Let’s not do the leap-frogging while I’m working with pointy objects,” I chided, considering the implications of nail-pierced hands. Perhaps the incident will make me more Christ-like.
Incidentally, I managed to chop half a dozen scraggly stumps out of the yard without putting the ax through my foot or my hand or my head. I’d have been at a serious disadvantage without either of the first two.
Here is the wisdom that greeted me today, in the pages of Psalms: “Man in his pomp will not endure; he is like the beasts that perish.” I think of those who are rich and powerful, who seek intelligence, money or pleasure. “Even wise men die, the stupid and the senseless alike and leave their wealth to others.” Well, duh. I love the way Yahweh puts things in perspective. He brings me back to plain facts of life. The redemption of a soul is costly. Who can offer God a ransom for one? Not only am I completely helpless to save anyone else, I can’t even save myself. Why should I ever worry about money? Those rich people—who congratulate themselves, who think they’ve got it made—who are they fooling? What are they going to take with them beyond the grave? Money can’t buy eternity. It can’t buy life. It can’t buy joy. It can’t even buy health. Where is my hope? My security? My retirement plan? God will redeem my soul from the power of death—He will receive me.
Lord, all that’s sure in life’s the grave,
Unless Thou art the one who saves
For money, power and pleasure sought
Have never, once, salvation bought.
Without the fear of Yahweh’s name,
The beasts and birds are much the same.
Life repeats its serenade:
We bloom and flourish, then we fade.