Summary: God wants us to rise and shine rather than succomb to the darkness.
Title: Keeping Faith When the Glow is Gone
Thesis: God wants us to rise and shine rather than succumb to the darkness.
It has been a busy week for Colorado state high school wrestling fans as 2a through 5a division wrestlers have vied for individual and team state championships. I am not an avid fan but I have taken some interest and have scanned the news stores in the Post and online. I admire any young man who puts his skills on the mat… win or lose. Competing as the best against the best is a great honor and privilege.
However, the article in the Post this week about Joe Klune gave me another lens through which to reflect on the state wrestling tournament. The article was titled Globeville Gave Way to World of Wrestling. Perhaps some of you who grew up in the Globeville community knew Joe Klune?
Joe is in the Class of 1999 University of Northern Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame as an All American Wrestler in 1947 in the 167 weight class. Listen to what the UNC web site says about Joe Klune:
“Joe Klune was a two-sport athlete for the Bears in the mid-1940s. As a wrestler, he earned three Rocky Mountain Conference championships (1942, 1946, 1947) and earned All-American honors by finishing fourth (University Division) at 167 pounds in 1946. As a football player, Klune was a two-time all-conference selection. After graduating from UNC, Klune enjoyed a successful career as a teacher/coach in the Denver Public Schools for over 30 years. Still a supporter of his alma mater, Klune continues to be a member of the UNC Blue & Gold Club, as well as a contributor to the Wrestling Scholarship Endowment Fund. Inducted in 1999.” (http://uncbears.cstv.com/trads/ncol-hall-of-fame.html)
Joe Klune will be 85 years old on April 2. In the Post article he reflected on being at the tournament at the Pepsi Center this week and connecting with his old wrestling cronies saying, “I loved coaching wrestling, but we don’t talk much about the old days. We just watch the tournament.” (denverpost.com/sports/ci_11719015)
One day the young men who triumphed on the wrestling mat at the Pepsi Center this week… will be men who hopefully go on to live good and decent lives, love their wives and raise their families, make a contribution to society, and show up to watch the young men wrestle when they are 85 years old.
But what happens after the glory is gone, is always a lingering question… what will the young men do when the glory is gone?
In Exodus 34 there is a story about how Moses spent forty days and nights on the mountain with God while compiling the Ten Commandments on stone tablets. When Moses came down from the mountain he was not aware that “his face glowed because he had spoken with the Lord face to face.” The bible says that when Aaron and the people “saw the radiance of Moses’ face, they were afraid to come near him.” After that, whenever he spoke to the people, Moses wore a veil on his face.
I have never seen radiance like that on anyone’s face. However, one thing is certain. Moses’ face did not radiate the glory of God forever. So what happens when the glow is gone?
Faith was a no-brainer for Peter, James, and John. They had been invited by Jesus to accompany him to a mountain top where they were privy to an historical event we call The Transfiguration. While on the mountain top with Jesus they observed a change in Jesus’ appearance… I think Mark describes it as a “dazzling white, far greater than any earthly process could ever make it.”
While gazing upon the dazzling white face of Jesus there on the mountain the disciples were deeply moved, but what happened when they came down from the mountain and the glow was gone?
We understand the concept that glory tends to fad with time, particularly when we think that with the passing of time we simply move further and further away from the spotlight and our moments of glory become distant memories.
However, in the life of the Christian, what if the glory does not of necessity fade away with time? What if the glory may remain bright with the passing of time?
Bonnie and I have a fireplace in our home. It is not an efficient way to heat our home so it is primarily of aesthetic value… we love the crackling of the fire, and the smell of wood burning. And we like the warmth that radiates out into the room. But the further you sit from the fire… the cooler the air. If you wish to remain in the warmth of the glow you have to stay close to the fireplace.