The night’s demise was now at hand
As sunlight strove to pin her foe;
The dawn broke through just as a man
Had packed his bags, all geared to go—
He leapt upon his faithful mare,
And armed with gun and fearless grin
He set to find what’s been prepared
On any trail God had for him.
It usually takes me about an hour in the morning before my smiles are running at full speed. But this morning the echoes of yesterday’s sense of freedom sped up the acceleration process.
Images of soaring eagles and galloping mustangs filled my mind, accompanied by the vision of shackles coming loose, with a phrase of inspiration from Paul—“It was for freedom that Christ has set you free”.
I am free! Free to live the adventure of each day, walking hand in hand with God Himself!
What do you have for me today, Father?
His heart led him to blaze new trails
Through canyons he had not explored,
Attacked by thorns, his will prevailed,
His spirit with the eagles soared;
But ’round mid-day he heard a cry:
He saw a boy who needed aid!
O’er canyon edge he dangled high,
A minute more all hope would fade…
“Are you ready to start?” It was hot enough that I was already sweating after a minute’s worth of jumping jacks.
“Hold on—that looks like Derrick Benson walking down the driveway!”
It had been seven years since my brother, Josh, and I counted Derrick among our friends. Seeing him was like a flash from the past. Snatching our minds back from a fog of surprise, we strolled to meet him.
“You guys playing football? Mind if I join you?”
Our assent was readily granted, and soon our football was swapping hands as we were swapping news, catching up on the significant details of his life.
After tossing a football around for a half an hour in the hot May sunshine, Derrick mentioned that he was thirsty, and wore it as an excuse to be heading home.
“I’ll get you a glass of water,” I offered.
“Are you sure? I don’t want to cause trouble—” he countered.
“Certainly!” I stepped in our home, grabbed a glass, and in a moment had filled it. But before I was back outdoors, he and Josh joined me inside.
Derrick was grafted into our family for another forty-five minutes as he and Josh and my dad played some music together.
We had never had a friend dive into our lives like this before – God was obviously doing something. But whatever purpose He had for our time together, the moment would have to be severed. We had plans for the evening, and we needed to leave; we were already late as it was.
Dad held out the invitation that we all wanted to offer, but none of us dreamed he would accept: he asked Derrick if he wanted to join us for dinner at our friends’ home.
Beyond all expectations, he accepted eagerly.
The cowboy’s mare displayed her speed,
And o’er the bluff they charged the boy’s doom,
A grab sufficed to reach his need,
Thank God, today they’d dig no tomb!
They shook off words of gratitude,
That cowboy and his faithful mare,
And traveled on while lives allude
To everything that God prepared…
What puzzle pieces were fit together that evening in God’s perfect plan, I will probably never know. Nothing unusual presented itself in the activities that evening: we feasted on a tasty meal, launched our voices in song, and enjoyed a game of volleyball together, but the love that flowed through all activities, binding us together as brothers and sisters in Christ, added new depths of vivacity to life.
I don’t know how Derrick’s life was changed; only little crumbs left behind spoke of what God may have done, as Derrick mentioned needing good friends like Josh and I, and commented on such a sweet family our friends were – “almost as sweet as your family”.
What I can see is how my life was changed, as I grew into a new appreciation of the adventure of every day – God wants to walk with me in the priceless hours of here and now! In His awesome plans, He’s got trails of faith for me to blaze in the mountains and valleys of the life He’s given me. I can’t wait to see what He’s got coming.
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