Friday, June 12, 2009

Milestones


"That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet."

Emily Dickinson

The sweet milestone. It is a special place of marking. A metaphorical insignia of identity. A guide set on the road as we travel to define distance from one point to another. An event to be remembered in one's biographical journey or a strategic time in the history of a nation. A juncture. A turning point. A place of change. A place of pause for looking, for revealing, for reflection, for remembering.

History tells us that in ancient Rome there was, in the very center of that city, a Golden Milestone. It was a gilded monument established by Augustus Caesar. The precious pillar marked distance in the Empire, for everything was measured to and from the gilded bronze object. "All roads lead to Rome" is a proverb that speaks of the amazing design of Roman roads and their great, winding, distant paths that all led to the Golden Milestone.

As Christians, our "Golden Milestone" is Christ our Savior. Yet, only one road takes us to Him. The way established by our Father in heaven. The confession that we are sinners and helpless to find our way without the forgiveness of Jesus and belief in Him as the Lord of all and of our lives. He is our turning point. A priceless treasure, who changes our way forever. We are never the same after meeting Jesus on our journey. Through Him, our ways are measured and dreamed and planned and found.

And the Lord gives us special marks along our way with Him to signify His loving kindness and mercy. He carves milestones in our lives, special moments that chart our course, turning points that take us to new places unseen by us before. Yes, our gentle Shepherd is always leading, and we are wise to follow, to take the turn with Him, to embrace the fresh, ride the current, skim the heights, accept the novel land. And to not look back. To proceed, dear one, in faith.

Yet, not to proceed is our choice. To look back with regret, to turn back in fear, to run away is always an option. The Holy Spirit will not force God's way upon us. One of the most precious gifts God gives to every one born is free will. Even as followers of Christ we may select. If we do defer our milestones, however, or merely endure the bitter herbs and rocky roads they entail, our destination will be met with relief but without sweet peace and unspeakable joy. And we may just find ourselves on another road where we recognize those same weeds and rocks. I have been there. Yes, I have done that. My own stubborn heart has sent me in circles on more than one occasion.

Today is one more occasion of choice for me. By God's grace, I have set to take this milestone and go with Him without turning my neck to see what has been. God forbid I get a painful crick and mar the opportunity to walk into a sweet phase of life. I hope, with God's grace, to take this bend in the road and follow Jesus fully, continuing toward those places of which Habakkuk spoke. Yes, "the sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights" (3:19, NIV).

My brother, who is forty-six, called me this morning. "How do you feel?" he asked. "I really feel great. It's a new beginning. It feels peaceful," I replied with earnest.

David added, "I bet you feel just a day older than forty-nine." I had to laugh, as I thought, "That really is about it. I'm just a day older than I was yesterday. And I saw an open door this morning that I could not resist walking through."

18 comments:

  1. Happy birthday to you, Andrea! I'm not far behind you! ~Lori

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  2. Me too! I want to take the road with Jesus! Looking back is just not worth it!
    Happy birthday!

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  3. Happy Birthday, dear sister! I reached that particular milestone earlier this year...just my Saviour and me....walking along life's road...

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  4. Happiest of Birthdays, dear friend! Isn't this the day you are to recieve gifts? And here you are bestowing them on us! You always have gracious words for us all! Thank you and...
    May His richest Blessings rain down upon you today!

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  5. Happy birthday, dear friend. May God bless you abundantly today and in the days to come. I love the only road to Jesus and references of the milestone. I also reflected on your reference of Hab 3:19.

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  6. Dear Andrea,

    Many birthday blessings to you as you choose to cling to the Rock. I am daily amazed at God's grace and mercy upon His children. You don't know how timely this post has come to me. He knew exactly what I needed and has provided it through this post. How wonderful to know that our Lord is acquainted with all of our ways... and still He loves us.

    Thank you for sharing my dear sister in Christ.

    p.s. Thank you for your prayers for Joshua. He is doing well.

    May the Lord grant you grace and peace.
    Mrs. Teapot

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  7. Dear Andrea,
    Wishing you a lovely birthday...may it be spent with those you love!
    ~Blessings!

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  8. Happy 50th! Welcome to the club! I love the number 50! My neighbor says the fifties are fabulous and I believe her! I hope you eat cake, open fun gifts, and look at yourself in the mirror and say, "Hi, Pretty!" I love the picture of the milestone. I find the concept so powerful! Joy! Joy! Joy!

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  9. Oh Andrea, what a blessing you are! Happy Birthday - Feliz Cumpleanos!

    May Our Lord continue to bestow upon you many, many blessings. Oh Andrea, you are so right in saying,

    Through Him, our ways are measured and dreamed and planned and found.

    Oh, dear friend, there is such truth in this statement. Thank you again for sharing so much with us and for allowing the Lord to continue to use you.

    Again dear friend, Happy Birthday!

    with love, my dear sister in Christ,

    lady m

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  10. A great analogy of the Roman roads, leading to our Golden Milestone, thank you for sharing! and Happy Birthday! I love the 50's! I approached them knowing that 50 is the year of Jubilee! A year of release and freedom! Take it sister!

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  11. Dear Andrea,
    Here is a song dedicated especially to you!!!
    One second as I clear my throat...
    okay, here goes:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR ANDREA
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUUUUUUUU.
    AND MANY MORE!!!!!

    Have a wonderful Birthday and know that it's a new day with great things to come.
    I have just sent you a virtual cake (any flavor you want) and ice cream.

    Wishing you a Blessed Birthday, my dear blogger friend,
    ~Deanna~

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  12. I'm so glad I followed the 'urge' to visit your blog place tonight... I was about to sign out when something told me I should drop by and say hello!

    Happy Birthday, dearest Andrea. Your birthday is the same day as our country. June 12 is the birth of the Philippine Republic. So that really makes your birthday special to me!

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  13. Andrea,

    Happy Birthday dear friend in Christ! As usual the message in this post speaks to my mind and my soul. I have to share a story that is about something as insignificant as a small patio but that glorified God. I was using some pavers to build a small patio area in our backyard. My husband had brought home some small gravel in buckets for me to use to fill in between the pavers. After more than an hour of moving pavers it was time for me to fill in with the gravel. As I began to pour the buckets out I realized there probably would not be enough to finish the job. I decided I should probably call my husband and ask him to bring home more gravel when he came home from work. But I really wanted to finish up so I prayed and asked Jesus to just give me enough gravel to finish (I know this sounds silly to bother Him with something so unimportant but I talk to Him all day:). Anyway as I began to fill in the pavers it seemed like there was more and more gravel. In fact, when I finished not only were all the pavers filled in but I shoveled enough extra gravel to fill half a bucket! It reminded me of the loaves and fish story-just have faith and all will be fulfilled:). I now call the patio the 'loaves and fish' patio because God gave me enough gravel and then some when I asked:).

    Blessings,

    Kim

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  14. Dear Sweet Andrea...

    I turned 50 last December. My hubby (who is NOT a writer or poet) penned me the most amazing letter complete with a precious poem he had personally written...

    He wrote about being a wife, mother, daughter and friend. The ups and downs of living and the very breath of life...

    He wrote of my savior, my faith and just where the decisions I've (or we) have made have taken us...

    The last line was something like this...

    "Your life is blessed, gifted and nifty...

    None of it possible without turning fifty".

    I cried so hard that the entire restaurant was staring and clapping... A memory I will always hold dear.

    Blessings to you as your life REALLY begins...

    xoRebecca

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  15. Hope you had a wonderful birthday! God Bless you!

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  16. I've visited you before but decided to "follow" today. I am so blessed by your skillful weaving of words, the unveiling of your heart, the passion to know and honor the Lord Jesus in all His fullness...May beauty and grace, goodness and mercy follow you into this next year of your life and make you a "lighthouse" to many on the stormy seas of life. I look forward to many "meals" at your table, so graciously served. Rebecca

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  17. By all means, walk through that Happy Birthday door and live your new year with the hope and perspective of all heaven.

    It's yours to live with Jesus. I can't wait to see what he will unfold for you.

    peace~elaine

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  18. Why is it that whenever I visit, I feel like I'm on a retreat, or relishing a mini-vacation? Yours is always a rich collection of thought, sounds, sights. Lovely!

    Happy Birthday! Now that I've passed the 60 Mile Marker, I can way with confidence: The best is yet to come!

    Hugs,
    Kathleen

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Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,

Andrea