Wednesday, June 30, 2004

So Little Done

Englishman Cecil John Rhodes immigrated to South Africa for health reasons and made a fortune from gold and diamond mining. He also became prime minister of the Cape Colony in 1890 and expanded Britain's territories. Under his will, part of his fortune was used to endow the Rhodes scholarships. He died from heart disease at low ebb in his fortunes. Lewis Mitchell, who was at his bedside while he was dying, heard him murmur, "So little done, so much to do." Whether a statesman or a beggar; whether, a South African or American. Whether you don't have enough to pay the electric bill or have enough to fund a scholarship; as far as this life is concerned we can all die with much to do and little done. Christians can say instead, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain. I will depart to be with Jesus." To have accomplished anything that will last forever -- that will bring a peace of mind to a dying body -- you've got to have become a child of God. What do you need to do today?
Running When the Phone Rings

Edgar Degas was a French painter and sculptor who would be unknown to me unless I had appreciated an anecdote attributed to him that illustrates how unimportant things can gain control of our lives. Degas has a friend named Jean-Louis Forain who was a bit more progressive than Degas. Forain had recently installed a telephone, a new invention at the time, and he wanted to show it off. He invited Degas over for a meal, and then arranged for someone to call him during the meal. The phone rang, Forain rushed to answer it, then returned, beaming with pride. Degas was less amazed with the phone and more amazed with Forain's response to its ring. He observed critically, "That's the telephone? It rings and you run." Neither you nor I are likely to answer this question honestly at first, but meditate on this: "What trivial things have such impact on your life that you run to them, even ignoring your spiritual health, whenever they call?" Look at the frivolous things that waste your time. Let's all work on answering Christ's call to holiness faster than we answer the phone. Live for Jesus and rush to those things that will enrich His relationship with you and your family.