From this September vantage point of life, I can see that my days on this planet will be best summarized as what I did between trips to the playground. But today's outing, with the son of my son, afforded me a gauge of the work God has done in me over the course of a generation. In a sense, it is very unremarkable.
I would have hoped that by now my personality was radically overhauled. I discovered, instead, while standing amidst sliding boards and swing sets, that the same hard-wired tendency to depression abides. The causes that I had attributed it to back in the 1980s have been removed, but the hounds still nip at my heel, indicating, interestingly, that it was never about external causes.
Nevertheless, there was something different this morning. Renninger Park with my own children had been a place of capitulation, whereas Renninger Park with my grandchildren was today a place of warfare. The younger woman who lugged buckets to that sandbox had let melancholy have its way with her, mounting no resistance, as if it were a foregone conclusion; the older woman caught herself in the act, named the condition, and prayed on the spot.
Under the beating sun I recognized that faith in Jesus Christ is for right now on the clock, or it's a sham. I entered His gates with thanksgiving. I cast my cares upon Him. I rehearsed as many relevant promises of God as I could think of. I "sued for grace" (as the Puritans used to say) by the justice that the blood of Jesus wrought. I told God I believed that He is more than able.
In other words, the only thing I have made baby steps toward in 20 whole years is what Francis Schaeffer called the necessity of living in the present and conscious exercise of faith, and believing the present power of the blood of Christ. If this isn't what "fight the good fight" means, then I don't know what the verse means.
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