Not too Old

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.”  -Mark Twain


If your imagination is starved, do not look back to your own experience; it is God whom you need. Go right out of yourself, away from the face of your idols, away from everything that has been starving your imagination. Rouse yourself, and deliberately turn your imagination to God.  -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for his Highest, February 10


Did you wake up bleary-eyed, weary this morning? 

Some days I do. Some days my mind’s eye is starved dim. Forty feels old and dull when these eyes are blurred with sleep. My imagination must be roused. 

Maybe it was the turn to March and winter’s-end wanderlust. And Lottie Lies Among the Flowers trilled by a tender young lass. All abask in laundry nook sunshine even as a fixture from church fades into glory.

Then, the day’s reading: And He will circumcise your hearts and the heart of your offspring. And we will return and hold fast and obey. And the LORD will take great delight in this; God will gather, restore, and go with his people (Deuteronomy 30).


Vision cleared vivid; I saw the dragon in the clouds. 

What wondrous love is this, O my soul? And can it be?

Imagination, Spirit-fed full. The Spirit and the Word gave new sight. Revived; no longer starved and bleary-eyed. I look right-out-of myself and see things unseen. Eternal unseen things. Imagination turns-is turned?- to see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. Aroused awake, with child’s keen eyes I saw

“A Second Childhood.” 

-G.K. Chesterton, The Collected Poems of G.K. Chesterton 


When all my days are ending
And I have no song to sing,
I think that I shall not be too old
To stare at everything;
As I stared once at a nursery door
Or a tall tree and a swing.

Wherein God’s ponderous mercy hangs
On all my sins and me,
Because He does not take away
The terror from the tree
And stones still shine along the road
That are and cannot be.

Men grow too old for love, my love,
Men grow too old for wine,
But I shall not grow too old to see
Unearthly daylight shine,
Changing my chamber’s dust to snow
Till I doubt if it be mine.

Behold, the crowning mercies melt,
The first surprises stay;
And in my dross is dropped a gift
For which I dare not pray:
That a man grow used to grief and joy
But not to night and day.

Men grow too old for love, my love,
Men grow too old for lies;
But I shall not grow too old to see
Enormous night arise,
A cloud that is larger than the world
And a monster made of eyes.

Nor am I worthy to unloose
The latchet of my shoe;
Or shake the dust from off my feet
Or the staff that bears me through
On ground that is too good to last,
Too solid to be true.

Men grow too old to woo, my love,
Men grow too old to wed;
But I shall not grow too old to see
Hung crazily overhead
Incredible rafters when I wake
And I find that I am not dead.

A thrill of thunder in my hair:
Though blackening clouds be plain,
Still I am stung and startled
By the first drop of the rain:
Romance and pride and passion pass
And these are what remain.

Strange crawling carpets of the grass,
Wide windows of the sky;
So in this perilous grace of God
With all my sins go I:
And things grow new though I grow old,
Though I grow old and die.” 

Some days I wake up feeling old. It’s too much work to see, I say. I need a rousing Helper to turn my gaze from me away. Otherwise the eyes stay dim; imagination starves that day. I’ve grown too old to see. 

Do you feel too old and dim, too tired and frail to look beyond the fall?  To dull to be awestruck by the sheer impossibility of being alive at all

Good news. 

If you’re in Christ, you’re not. 

“No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him,”
–These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10

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