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Summary: A call to pursue your destiny in God by leaving your past, looking beyond the present, & living for the future. (Props to James Emery White from whom I shamelessly stole the three levels of living.

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THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING

Have you ever had one of those days where you wanted so bad for it to just be over? Because you knew that tomorrow had to be better. Because there’s just no way that any two days could ever be this bad.

Last summer my dad and I flew back to Wisconsin to hook up with his brother (my uncle), my two cousins and a guy they called “Brother Bill” for a guys fishing trip up into Canada.

I had the greatest expectations because it sounded wonderful. Seven days at a secluded lodge on a lake full to overflowing with Northern Pike, Walleye, and Trout.

After looking at the brochure and the outfitter’s website, I was pretty excited. I was ready for some male bonding and extreme fishing in the beautiful outdoors of Canada.

But how many know that usually when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Cabin/ plot of land/ screens/ bunks/ outhouse/ 100 degrees/ boiling water on propane stove

Through some masterful foresight two frozen chickens were brought along on the trip. They were in a large red cooler for the entire journey. All told, about 31 hours. Needless to say, the chicken thawed in the cooler on the trip and so we ended up with a cooler full of this raw chicken syrup. It chills me even now to remember watching in horror as my uncle drained the cooler and with a maniacal laugh began making Kool-Aid in it.

Scooping it out with their hands. I’m like, “Can you say salmonella?!”

The first night was an eye-opener, literally. I think I slept a grand total of about 30 seconds. Ravenous mosquitoes/ Luke piercing screams/ Jesse just gave up - feeding station/ So the next night I sought sanctuary underneath the sink. (Expound / duct tape, towels and sheets)

Leeches (Me and Brother Bill) (Blastomychosis) You’ve probably never heard of it… I hadn’t either. And I re-checked the brochure and it wasn’t even mentioned as an option. (Expound)

I learned a valuable truth about myself. I’m a city boy. I enjoy the amenities that civilization affords. (Running water/ sanitary food)

Through it all I had to come to grips with some things. I couldn’t think about the day before… it was to bad. I had to force myself trudge through the unpleasantness of the present. And all the while cling to the hope that in time it would all be over and I would have my reward. A one-way ticket out of my personal glimpse of hell and back to civilization.

And I believe that the same principle can be applied to the spiritual life of the believer. That we need to leave the past behind. Look beyond the drudgery of today. And live ever mindful of the future.

It’s been said that mankind tends to live on one of three levels. The first level is survival. For some, this survival is literal. They are poor and destitute, and they must spend every waking moment trying to make it through another day. For others, survival means making it to another weekend. Their struggle is simply to exist. But it’s really not much of an existence.

The second level is success. Some people live to make it big. To get a big salary, a big car, and a big house. But nothing they get every brings the satisfaction that they thought it would… and there’s always something bigger and better just out of reach.


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