Davy Jones died leap year day, February 29, 2012. When I heard the news, I did what many my age did, I listened again to my favorite songs from The Monkees, on iTunes now. One of my favorites, Shades of Gray:
When the world and I were young, just yesterday,
Life was such a simple game a child could play.
It was easy then to tell right from wrong,
Easy then to tell weak from strong,
When a man should stand and fight, or just go along.
Things were simple and clear when we were young. The same message is in today's reading, Deuteronomy 28. Israel is a new nation, pre-teen. The first fourteen verses list the blessings "if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God." The next fifty-four, the curses "if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God."
When we get older, we begin asking "what if" and "why not."
But today there is no day or night, today there is no dark or light,
Today there is no black or white, only shades of gray.
"Come, you who are blessed by my Father, I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. Depart from me, you cursed, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me." ~Matthew 25:31-40
I remember when the answers seemed so clear.
We had never lived with doubt or tasted fear.
It was easy then to tell truth from lies, selling out or compromise,
Who to love and who to hate, the foolish from the wise.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. ~John 3:19-21
God, thank You for life itself, and for this instruction book, Your Word, which shows me how to live. Thank You, as well, that I may pray to You for wisdom and You promise to give it to me. Help me never to doubt You. I am so glad Your Holy Spirit lives in me and guides me toward Your truth. I live in a world upside down, and I need You to show me what is what.
Father, I know as I trust You more I will trust You more. I know that seems funny, but the more often I have faith, the stronger my faith gets, and the more willing I will be to walk in faith the next time. Strengthen me, God, as I train my mind by putting Your Word into practice.