Unchanged Shadows

Ever heard of Christmas in July? I found myself musing the other day about words from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol:

“Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.” “I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.” “No, no,” said Scrooge. “Oh no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared.” “If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here.

Our futures are mostly comprised out of consequences from decisions made in the present. While we do rest in the fact that God holds the future that His children walk in, we nonetheless walk so in the tension of His sphere of sovereignty and our role of human responsibility. Elections have consequences on the short and long-term decisions of a country. A failed test during the course of a school year will affect the final result of the course grade. Money spent today on frivolity cannot be spent again on necessities when bills come due.

“Unless these shadows remain unaltered…I see a vacant seat…”

There is a correspondence between what we do now, and the outcome of that decision which we experience later. Many people say, “I need a break from church for a while” and before they know it that break has turned into a permanent vacation. “It’s no big deal, after all. Timber Ridge will always be there on the hill when I get ready to go back.” Will it?

God is faithful, and we have His word that His church will always have a presence in this world until He comes again. That truth however is no guarantee that Timber Ridge will be here when that day comes. As you make the “big” choices in life, don’t overlook the biggest. After all, without God in the mix you never can get to the final statement of the book, “God bless us, everyone.”


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