Monday, October 22, 2012

Unutterably Happy?

'EVEN in a state of innocence, when all was perfection and
excellence, when God was clearly discovered in all his works,
every place being his temple, every moment a time of worship,
and every object an incitement to religious reverence and
adoration-even then, God chose to consecrate a seventh part of
time to his more especial worship, and to hallow it unto his own
service by a perpetual decree. Who then shall dare to reverse
this order of God? Had the religious observance of the Sabbath
been never proclaimed till the proclamation of the law on Mount
Sinai, then it might have been conjectured that this, like several
other ordinances, was a shadow which must pass away with that
dispensation; neither extending to future ages, nor binding on any
other people. But this was not so. God gave the Sabbath, his
first ordinance, to man, (see the first precept, Ge 2:17,) while
all the nations of the world were seminally included in him, and
while he stood the father and representative of the whole human
race; therefore the Sabbath is not for one nation, for one time,
or for one place. It is the fair type of heaven's eternal day-of
the state of endless blessedness and glory, where human souls,
having fully regained the Divine image, and become united to the
Centre and Source of all perfection and excellence, shall rest
in God, unutterably happy through the immeasurable progress of
duration! Of this consummation every returning Sabbath should at
once be a type, a remembrancer, and a foretaste, to every pious
mind; and these it must be to all who are taught of God.'

God rested on the seventh day. Not because He needed to, and not just because He was finished. He rested, and in doing so He led by example. He was teaching us 'preventative maintenance.' 

In my coal mining days, every now and then they'd call me on the radio at the end of a shift. 
"Park 325 at the PM bay. She's due." 
It meant that I was to drive my 2-story coal truck to the shop when the shift was done, because the next crew was going to pull it into the shop for 'preventative maintenance.'

It was faithfully practiced at the mine. It didn't mean Truck 325 would never break down or fall under some mishap. It just meant that the old truck would have LESS problems if properly checked and maintained, lubricated and cleaned. Dirty filters would be swapped out. Cracked windshields replaced. Brakes, the ability to stop, were always given careful attention. It all just meant that someday WHEN some calamity would raise its ugly head, the damage wouldn't be so tragic. A little PM, and you just replace some worn out brake pads. A little PM and you don't wind up losing some truck and driver over the edge of a cliff. 

The old adage, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' is foolishness. Why wait until we are fully stranded on the side of the road, incapable of advancing under our own steam? 

Are you following, Reader? A little PM, a little Sabbath, a little rest being unutterably happy and in awe of the Living God and in His grace alone, and we won't find ourselves plummeting over the edge of our own misery. 
How can we, when we are reminded of what it feels like to bask in His light? Even the most miserable of us can come into that sanctuary, that refuge of Christ, and feel mercy and love. Our clogged and dirty filters changed for a breath of fresh air, our brake pads replaced so we can stop when we find that the bridge is out ahead....The maintenance of our heart awaits, if we will but just yield. I promise it to be true. It's something I've yet to learn.

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