(Excerpt from Chapter Three of Leona's book-in-progress ROCKING ON MY SUMMIT)
When one reaches the summit years, it is a temptation to feel “used up.” Energy is at a low ebb. Weariness is a constant companion. Goal setting has receded into the background. Life seems to have lost its purpose. Advanced age tends to pull fatigue along in its wake.
Sometimes I rise up, Lord
and run great guns
bubbling with enthusiasm
when life is exciting and fun.
Lord, I sit down too, too often
in depression and deflation
tired and limp, overwhelmed with life.
All I can do is slump in a lump
on the sofa and snooze.
I confess to an energy crisis.
From being a fireball
at start of the day
I soon call a halt
to life's hectic race
and crawl into bed
and drift away
hoping while sleeping
my exhausted battery someway.
You know it all, Lord:
and my uprisings
and how often I vacillate
from one to the other.
You said You understand
and in that truth I rest
content to lean
with my ups and downs
upon Your breast.
“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.” (Psalm 139:2)
George Bernard Shaw addressed the issue of maintaining one's purpose in perspective in a piece called “A Splendid Torch.” I have altered it with a few words in brackets to fit my Christian worldview.
“This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community,[to GOD] and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it [for HIM] whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work,[WITH GOD'S ENABLING] the more I live.
Life is no 'brief candle' to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
It is so easy in one's latter season of life to lose the fire, to be left with smoldering charcoal embers in one's spirit. I long for the burning heart of early years, the “first-love” flush, the touch and thrill of the Holy Spirit's moving in my soul. I long for the “fresh fire” of renewal, the breath of God stirring within, blowing on my charcoal embers to restore a glow—then a flame again. It is mine for the asking!
Come, Holy Spirit!
Descend on me with FRESH FIRE
flames of Pentecost, tongues of FIRE
to burn away the dross of self
fall upon me, fill me, purify my soul
renew my stony heart to flesh.
Veni Sancte Spiritus
Light me once again AFIRE
transform me into a burning bush
yet not consumed, a living sacrifice
touch my lips with glowing coals until
I am fully possessed by You
to think holy thoughts and speak holy words.
I see reflected in Your holy FIRE
the brilliance of Your Manifest Presence
let the flames of Your searing love
blaze fiercely on the altar of my heart
never quenched, never diminished
a perpetual sacrifice of praise
as fragrant incense rising to Your throne.
Spirit of God, impart to me a burning heart
as I walk with Christ on my Emmaus road
fan the embers of my diminishing passion
back again to “first love” intensity.
Spirit of God, endue me with holy power
to spread Your FIRE to those within my reach
ignite their hearts ablaze and draw them
from the kingdom of darkness
to Your brilliant Kingdom of Light
by Your uncommon FIRE!