Sunday, February 24, 2013

Luna, Billy Graham, & Albert Einstein


     Our family recently acquired a small black kitten who is rapidly growing into a cat.  We named her Luna, because when she was small she had white fuzz over her deep black fur.  It reminded me of the reflection of the moon on the lake where we go camping.
     Luna quickly adapted to life in our busy household.  She plays with the boys, pouncing out at them from various hiding places.  She enjoys being draped over Patty’s shoulders to survey the room.  Luna races through the house with our dog hot on her heels.  Pat, who is not a fan of cats, has been won over by her.  He even picked up a feathery toy for her to play with.
     Luna plays with everyone in the house, but she comes to me to sleep.  When I sit down in our big chair, Luna can often be found curled up on me or near me.  I think she loves my warmth.  I enjoy this little purring radiator on the cold winter nights.  Now, if you could put aside our cat for just a moment.
     Billy Graham once shared a story about Albert Einstein.  At that time, Graham had recently been quite ill.  Here is the story.
     As you know Albert Einstein was one of the most brilliant men of recent times.  In 2000, he was voted the Man of the Century by Time Magazine.  With his unkempt hairdo and German accent, Einstein was instantly recognizable by everyone he met.
     One day Einstein was traveling from Princeton by train.  The conductor came through the train car collecting tickets.  When he reached Einstein, Einstein was frantically patting his pockets and going through his papers looking for his ticket.  The conductor recognized his famous passenger.  Kindly he assured Mr. Einstein that he was sure that he had purchased a ticket and that it was not necessary for him to find it.  Albert Einstein however, continued to dig around, searching even more diligently for the absent ticket.  The ticket was not in his luggage, pockets, or in his pile of papers.
     The conductor again reassured Albert Einstein that everyone on the train knew who he was and that he shouldn’t worry.  Long after the conductor was gone, Albert Einstein was still looking on his hands and knees for his train ticket.  Einstein told his fellow passengers, “I know who I am, but I don’t remember where I am going.”
     Doctor Graham went on to share that he, Graham, was wearing a brand new suit.  One that he had purchased to wear for the event at which he was speaking.  He told the audience that he liked the suit so much that he had decided he would be buried in it when his time came.  He continued, “Don’t just remember me for my new suit.  I want you to remember I not only know who I am, I know where I am going!”
     Now I know what you are thinking....What does our cat, Luna, Billy Graham, and Albert Einstein have in common?
     We are all on a path in life.  Sometimes our path takes us through warm pleasant places.  We  know who we are and how to get where we are going.  Our ticket is in hand.  We are securely nestled in a warm lap. We delight in the day we’ve been given.  Other times the winter winds begin to blow.  The ticket is hidden and our future is uncertain.  It is then that we rely on the warmth that others share with us through their testimony, their prayers, and their lives.  We remember the scripture that we have hidden in our heart, the messages that we’ve heard on a Sunday morning, and that God is God, no matter what.
Keep me safe, O God,
  for in you I take refuge.
I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
  apart from you I have no good thing.”
Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
  You have made my lot secure.
 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
  surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me.
I have set the Lord always before me.
  Because he is at my right hand,
  I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices’
  my body will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the grave
  nor will you let you Holy One see decay.
You have made known to me the path of life;
  you will fill me with joy in your presence,
  with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  ~Psalm 16:1-11
     Do you know who you are?
     Do you know whose you are?
     Do you know where you are going?
     Are you willing to share your warmth?
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