Today is February 22nd 2013. I mention that for no deep Whovian reason; just because, in one of those serendipitous moments, not uncommon in the vortex, I have encountered a voice from the past, speaking to the present and, I believe, with relevance for the future too.
When I am not watching old episodes of Doctor Who (only a matter of weeks now until he reemerges from his Big Blue Box) I am, among other things, reading; less these days than I am happy to admit.
Daily, for years now, my reading has included the devotional book, ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ by Oswald Chambers. Part of the attraction is that no matter how often I revisit it I find something new; challenge or comfort; encouraging or even occasionally simply enigmatic, and I don’t mind that at all.
Today, I read this;
‘Tenacity is more than endurance, it is endurance combined with the absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. Tenacity is more than hanging on, which may be but the weakness of being afraid to fall off. Tenacity is the supreme effort of a man refusing to believe that his hero is going to be conquered. The greatest fear a disciple has is not that he will be damned, but that Jesus Christ will be worsted, that the things He stood for-love and justice and forgiveness and kindness among men-will not win out in the end; the things He stands for look like will-o’-the-wisps. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately on the certainty that God is not going to be worsted.
If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God….
Remain spiritually tenacious.’
I was ready to hear this today. It immediately brought to mind a BBP that I read just yesterday (‘Amelia Pond: the girl who waited’ July 5, 2012) and two things in particular.
- First, the instructions that the newly regenerated eleventh Doctor gave to Amelia Pond, aged seven, as she settled down to wait trustingly for him to return for her ‘in five minutes’.
‘Do everything I tell you. Don’t ask stupid questions. Don’t wander off.’ (I thought at the time that there is more than just a grain of valuable pastoral advice here, and I still do).
- Second, the sneering accusation of Prisoner Zero as he tried to destroy the older Amelia’s trust in her raggedy Doctor.
“Poor Amelia Pond, still such a child inside. Dreaming of the magic Doctor who’ll return to save her.”
- Remember, Amelia’s wait (‘just five minutes’) spun into twelve long years and through it all she struggled to withstand the suggestion, from her family (and four psychiatrists) that her hero was not real. She may have given up waiting but she did not, entirely, give up believing in the one who would, momentarily now, prove to be the deliverer he promised he would be.
- Remember, ‘It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.’ 2 Corinthians 4:13-18