3.03.2009

rag tag army

seeing as i'm 27 and have been unemployed for a month, and don't have enough cash in the bank to pay my rent for this month, well...i've been beating myself up pretty bad lately. i found more encouragement and freedom than i could ask for in the past two days, from a number of different sources and people. i wanted to share one with you that really made me smile.

it's a really short story (really short, and worth reading i promise) that has a lot of truth in it. enjoy.

I think God must be very old and very tired. Maybe he used to look splendid and fine in his general's uniform, but no more. He's been on the march a long time you know. And look at his rag-tag little army! All he has for soldiers are you and me. Dumb little army. Listen! The drum beat isn't even regular. Everyone is out of step. And there! You see? God keeps stopping along the way to pick up one of his tinier soldiers who decided to wander off and play with a frog, or run in a field, or whose foot got tangled in the underbrush. He'll never get anywhere that way. And yet, the march goes on.

Do you see how the marches have broken up into little groups? Look at that group near the front. Now, there's a snappy outfit! They all look pretty much alike-at least they're in step with one another. That's something! Only they're not wearing their shoes. They're carrying them in their hands. Silly little band. They won't get very far before God will have to stop again.

Or how about that other group over there? They're all holding hands as they march. The only trouble with this is the men on each end of the line. Pretty soon they realize that one of their hands isn't holding on to anything-one hand is reaching, empty, alone. And so they hold hands with each other, and everybody marches around in circles. The more people holding hands, the bigger the circle. And, of course, a bigger circle is deceptive because as we march along it looks like we're going someplace, but we're not. And so God must stop again. You see what I mean? He'll never get anywhere that way!

If God were more sensible he'd take his little army and shape them up. Why, whoever heard of a soldier stopping to romp in a field? It's ridiculous. But even more absurd is a general who will stop the march of eternity to go and bring him back. But that's God for you. His is no endless, empty marching. He is going somewhere. His steps are deliberate and full of purpose. He may be old, and he may be tired. But he knows where he's going. And he means to take every last one of his tiny soldiers with him. Only there aren't going to be any forced marches. And, after all, there are frogs and flowers and thorns and underbrush along the way. And even though our foreheads have been signed with the sign of the cross, we are only human. And most of us are afraid and lonely and would like to hold hands or cry or run away. And we don't know where we are going, and we can't seem to trust God-especially when it's dark out and we can't see him.! And he won't go on without us. And that's why it's taking so long.

Listen! The drum beat isn't even regular. Everyone is out of step. And there. You see! God keeps stopping along the way to pick up on of his tiniest soldiers who decided to wander off and play with a frog, or run in a field or whose foot got tangled in the underbrush. He'll never get anywhere that way!

And yet the march goes on...

(From The Way of the Wolf by Martin Bell. Originally published in 1968)

8 comments:

kate said...

hey i like this :) its nice

i also like your photo's that you submitted for the folio weekly invitational artist exhibition...

found your blog via miss maybel... will surely be back to check out some more pics and read some more stories...

michaelcosta said...

hang in there my friend. you always have a roof in charleston!

amanda said...

Thanks for the comment. I knew who you where, you didn't need to explain.

If it make you feel any better my ent is due in a week and i'm $500 short for the month. I'm sue it will work out.

Good luck and please do stop by again.

Justin said...

We are here for you, brother. Call, come, stay any time.

Jeff said...

i saw you walking down the street Saturday.

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