Nobody talked less than he did, but you can learn about a man by riding with him. He never wasted a motion, never took an unnecessary chance. He scouted every possible ambush, every creek-crossing. He never made a point of it, but he knew what he was doing.”
–Louis L’Amour (Tucker)
“So I stationed people behind the lowest sections of the wall, at the vulnerable areas. I stationed them by families with their swords, spears, and bows.”
–Nehemiah 4:13 (HCSB)
Much has been said about the purpose of life. Entire philosphies spend time trying to figure it out. Some say “eat, drink, and be merry,” in other words, “party-hardy,” but that too much of the time leads to hedonism and self-centeredness. Others will say, don’t worry about it, there’s no use; “doom, despair, agony,” woe is me. Some seek to do good, while others seek to run away and escape from life. The Shorter Westminster Catechsim says, “we are to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
No matter our philosophy, and no matter how hard we try to avoid it, we do leave tracks in life. We do leave a legacy and people will see it and some may follow, but all we see. Let’s take a moment and ponder the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He says that life is short and we must be using our energy for heroic deeds.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!–
For the soul is dead that slumbers
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
One of the main thoughts that Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes is the seriousness of life. The humanist, for good or bad, has no hope. They believe that upon death man simply becomes a clod. Much of their time is in argument against a soul. But the truth of the matter is, life should not be a dream, even though it is fleeting. I saw two old men talking the other day about someone they knew. Their acquaintance was bragging that he was 65 and could do the same work he did at 25. Whereupon on of the men said, “he must not have done much work at 25.” Face life with eternity in mind.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us father than today…
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!…
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
Longfellow is telling us to quit our moaning and groaning about life. Get up, do something with it, for the tracks you leave someone who is faltering might see, take heart, and continue on life’s way. The journey may get wearisome, but in the light of eternity it is but a vapor. Leave tracks that others can follow forward and onward to that heavenly abode.
Today during the Texas Revolution: Santa Anna and his army reach the city of Guerrero while General Urrea reinforces Matamoros and marches toward San Patricio and into South Texas.