Sunday, January 27, 2019

From Ruth to Rich: Be In Shape Spiritually and... Travel Light

As I read late Billy Graham’s Just As I Am (1997) autobiography, I’m encouraged by his wife, Ruth Bell, for her life, support, and works in the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ministry. About Ruth, Billy writes, “God gave Ruth many, many gifts, one of which was writing.” I agree. In this series, I try to imagine (one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind) what would Ruth Bell says to encourage young man like me – and perhaps, you. I hope you enjoy it!

Dear Richard,

            The Christian life is like climbing a mountain. For some people the climb is a gently sloping ascent; for other people, the climb is like attacking the north face of the Eiger (mountain). Christina Rossetti wrote:
Does the road wind uphill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.”

Whether your climb is easy or difficult, you need to be in shape spiritually and to travel light. To be in shape spiritually, you need spiritual nourishment and exercise. You need to spend less time reading about the Bible and spend more time studying the Bible. Then you need to apply what you learn – carefully and vigorously – to your life, to live out daily what you have taken in.

To travel light, you need to lighten your loads. Some of us may need to trim off excess weight. Others of us have too many social involvements and too many meetings to attend (Remember the caution: “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life”). But for you, do whatever it takes, my son… travel light. When the disciples were sent out two by two, they traveled light – “without purse, bag or sandals” (Luke 22:35).

Time change, situations vary, and God’s orders to His followers are individualized. But the need and the message continue the same – and the goal. It’s up to you to be in shape and to travel light.

With love, my son,
Ruth Bell Graham
(1920 – 2007)

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