Lord, it is the same struggle; You, with great patience, recall the same words spoken over and over to my mind. How long has it been and how long will I be content on the merry-go-round, ignoring the fact that it goes nowhere? Perhaps that is an overstatement but it rings all too true. I want to get off, but the music and the familiar faces of my fellow riders with their smiles and encouragement bring me joy, make me feel good. As I peer out beyond the lighted confines of the merry-go-round, I see vague images and rough terrain. I see the unknown, the “not safe”. I know You are beckoning me to come out there, but I also feel Your presence with me on the merry-go-round. I know my experience with You and of You would be different out there, but all the same, You are here and I like the music and the company. Yet, I know there is so much more that is possible beyond the platform lights and sounds of the merry-go-round. I am frightened though; I have stepped off the merry-go-round before but only for a step or two. I remained close enough to be reassured by the familiarity of the music and the smiles and voices of my companions on the merry-go-round. But I have always returned to my safe and familiar place on the merry-go-round.
Lately, I have been hearing your invitation more frequently, “Come, it is time.” I almost laugh out loud, yet weep inside. It is time. It is way past time. How many days, weeks, years have I turned a deaf ear and deadened my heart to Your invitation? Yet once again You are calling me in Your grace and mercy, with the same gentleness, love and hope in Your voice as when You called me for the first time.
“Come, it is time.” Wow! Will I heed Your call this time? Deep within I know this is what I long for, that for this I was given life, but then I hear the enchanted melody of the merry-go-round. I hear the words of my friends and before I know it, Your words, my Lord, Lover, Friend, are forgotten. The deep desires within are covered over once again and I remain safe, secure, empty…the same. Don’t get me wrong; I am not like all the others on this ride. Sometimes I stand on my steed. I never wear the strap that keeps one safely on their steed as it races up and down and whirls round and round. I live on the edge. I push the envelope of merry-go-round riding. Others think me daring, wild, ‘out there’. And, of course, I have been off the merry-go-round and have even veered away from the merry-go-round. Sadly, I know what the others don’t; that there is so much more possible than going up and down and around and around.
I know that there is a real adventure, a real journey possible, real horses to ride and to run with. There is a new song out there too, a song that doesn’t lull one into complacency, but excites, inspires, encourages and challenges one to continue on their journey. “Come, it is time”, You call to me again. You touch my very heart and soul with Your words. I hope and pray this will be the time I leap from the merry-go-round, never to return to its deadening complacency, its mind-dulling, spirit-quenching tune. I will miss my friends and my trusty steed. “Come, it is time.” I dismount and walk to the edge. Will I leap? I know I will. Will I travel far from the merry-go-round? Will I escape its haunting melody, its hypnotic power? Will I go, never to return? Everything inside me screams yes, but my past tells me no. Another voice inside me says, “Go have your fun, get this out of your system again. We will be waiting for you, your steed will still be here and you can once again amaze us with your feats of daring and bravery and regale us with stories from beyond the merry-go-round. We shall have a party when you return.”
Again the voice of Jesus, the sweet, tender voice calls to me, “Come, it is time,” and I leap from the platform into His arms. He puts me down and we begin to walk together. Now it is the music of the merry-go-round that calls to me, the voices of friends who call my name, who beg me to come back and call out, “Don’t go!” Jesus, hold my hand, hold it tight, don’t let go of it, don’t let me go back. But, Jesus will let me go back, if that is my wish and my desire. He will let me go back to the merry-go-round if that is what I choose, and He will go with me and in time I will hear Him say yet again with gentleness, love and hope, “Come, it is time.”
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