Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thirsty Thursday

This morning in my reading I came across something that seemed like it could present quite the challenge if I thought about it for a few days…I will first give you the part of the quote that stuck out to me. I actually read it, kept reading, and then said, "Wait a second." And so I went back up to re-read this part:

"…if I believed always that all the past is forgiven, and all the present furnished with power, and all the future bright with hope…"

Well maybe that doesn't strike you as too crazy but as I was reading over it again I thought to myself, "Do I believe like that?"

Do I always believe that the past is forgiven? Not just some of the past but ALL the past. Do I leave those things in the past where they should be because they have been fully and completely forgiven?

Do I always believe that the present is furnished with power? Not just some of the present but ALL the present. Do I look at each day in a way that says, "This is going to be good, I have the power I need to get through." (Cue music: I've Got The Power) J

Do I always believe that the future is bright with hope? Not just some of the future but ALL the future. Do I look ahead past the present and see hope for the journey? Is it shining brightly in my life?

The sad answer that I came up with was no, not all the time. Not always as this quote says. And so I am challenged today and maybe you can be too to look at the way we live our lives and ask these questions. My outlook on today is already changing.

Now, the full quote so you can see if I have taken this out of context.

"I think that I can trace every scrap of sorrow in my life to simple unbelief. How could I be anything but quite happy if I believed always that all the past is forgiven, and all the present furnished with power, and all the future bright with hope because of the same abiding facts which do not change with my mood, do not stumble because I totter and stagger at the promise through unbelief, but stand firm and clear with their peaks of pearl cleaving the air of Eternity, and the bases of their hills rooted unfathomably in the Rock of God? Mont Blanc does not become a phantom or a mist because a climber grows dizzy on its side."
—James Smetham

There is a lot in this little quote but I will leave that to you to ponder on your own.

Also, I was curious who Mr. Smetham was and this is what I found…

James Smetham (1821-1889)
Smetham worked in a number of genres: landscapes, portraits, and literary and religious themes. He began his studies at the Royal Academy in 1843, but mental illness that fully manifested itself in the mid-1870s plagued his later career, and after 1869 he no longer exhibited at the Royal Academy. Smetham was also a critic and essayist. His article on William Blake in the Quarterly Review (1868) is one of the first evaluations to suggest the importance of Blake as an artist.

It turns out that Mr. Smetham had written quite a few letters during his life and when he passed his wife and a close friend published the letters in a book called Letters of James Smetham. This quote comes from a letter written to a Mrs. Taylor at the beginning of 1861. For proper citation, it comes from page 105. If you click on that link of his name it appears that you can read the whole book. Note to self, must see what other books I could read this way.

Have a great day! I pray that the God of bright hope will be your guide today!