I always pictured the hill far away, with the cross standing there for all to see. The cross there was never as finished as the ones seen in churches everywhere. The one I picture is crude, barely a cross, just enough to get the job done by those who put our Lord there to die. The picture in my mind is a sacred place where a stand was taken for all of us, past, present, and future. This space is near and dear to my heart, as without it we are all lost.
I think on the things we gather, the achievements we garner, the trophies we win, the awards bestowed upon us while we are here on earth. I can still hear my grandfather say “it’s all going to burn” as it relates to earthly possessions. Whether you believe or not, the possessions we have here on earth matter not once we are gone.
When I think of the history of this earth and the billions of people who have trod these same grounds throughout time, I think also of the billions of awards, achievements, and possessions that are forever forgotten. My stuff too, will be forgotten, probably sooner than I would hope, when I am gone. Truthfully, I would rather have my memory live on through those who knew me, through my beliefs, through my example, through the things I have imparted on my children or folks I have influenced, through my writings, certainly not through my possessions. Nowadays we are creatures of habits and comforts. And with comforts come many things. One day I will lay all those things down and I will cling to the cross that’s imprinted in my mind’s eye and exchange it for a crown. As it is, Stephen, my name, originates from the Latin or Greek words meaning crown or garland. I didn’t always understand the meaning, but I always liked the name.
It’s the old rugged cross, the one where Jesus died to pardon us from sins we hadn’t even committed yet. So, knowing this, why would we ever sin? I mean there’s not many people on the planet who would give their life for their own sins, let alone anyone else’s. I know of people who think this is an open invitation to do as they please because someone else already shed their blood for the rest of us. That’s only a fraction of the big picture though. Like many things in life, and certainly the best things in life, it’s not about picking and choosing which parts apply to us and which ones don’t. It’s not a matter of taking the good with the bad, it’s about doing the good, being the good, walking the good line, and most importantly believing in something bigger than all of us. It’s a matter of trusting and believing in Him, and asking that you be included on the list of those saved from eternal damnation. Ask the Lord into your heart as it was spoken to me as a child. This is where heart and soul are synonymous to me. I have commented on this before and will again, here; look into the eyes of a believer and there is a sparkle, a joy, a peace in their eyes that isn’t seen just anywhere. Read about my aunt in my blog, Things I wish I had said, and you will get a sense of what I mean. We are humans, imperfect beings, who can’t get to heaven by ourselves. We sin. Fortunately we have the free will to choose the outcome that befalls us.
Our Lord and Savior died on that old rugged cross for me, for you, for us. It’s done. The rest is up to us. For just like the cross itself, our possessions will be long gone, buried by the sands of time, trodden over by those who come long after us. It’s the memories, the beliefs, the legacy, we leave that carries on and speaks to those never fortunate enough to have met us, and tells our story. That’s my inspiration: To be an inspiration. Even after He calls me some day to my home far away, where His glory I’ll forever share.
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.
In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.