Dad Life: Lego Gun

This is a shout out to  sleep-deprived dads (and moms), especially to those who’ve been awake most of the night comforting a cranky baby or tending to sick kids. For parents with little ones, sleep is practically a barterable commodity. If it were possible, we’d all get together like a mountain man rendezvous, trying to trade a few packs of gummy snacks and dryer lint cash for a few hours of uninterrupted REM sleep. When I was a single man, I took sleep for granted. But I also wanted to eventually get married and have children. So on the other end of the spectrum, I understand there are people longing to start a family, and some who aren’t presently able to do so would give up a whole lot to make that a reality. Laying that all aside, I would go back and punch my bachelor counterpart in the face, give him an ice pack, then tell him to enjoy his good night’s rest. I now leave you with a verse of dad poetry.

A day off at home for a family man with six kids

Is probably different than a bachelor without a daughter or son:

On a quiet wintry morning the single man blissfully sleeps with closed eye lids

While the dad, in silent repose, gets jumped by a kid with a Lego gun.

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To Those Just Passing Through

image

Rambler, rover, stranger, soldier—
Roll on, roll on!

Spite the pagan road.
Traverse the heavenly highway.
Glory in the Master Cartographer—
Rambler heart, roll on, roll on!

Desert springs will sustain thee,
Tho’ the villages disdain thee.
And while you bid them adieu,
Leave behind the dirt on your shoe.

Rambler, rover, stranger, soldier—
Roll on, roll on!

Three Emigrant Trail Stanzas

Winds pick up on the Pilot Valley,

Howl across the Pequop Range.

The moonlit twilight purple summer evenings

Leave you with a feeling both beautiful and strange

Hot and dusty Winnemucca,

Murmurings give way to spring,

The sweet scent of ranchers’ Ag burns

And the rabbit brush and sage turning green.

The California Trail beckons still,

Like it called the ambitious travelers of old.

It sings songs of dreams and graves,

It waits for some one to hear them told.

Galatian Stanzas

epistle to the galatians

“For freedom Christ has set me free,”

free to live in Him.

The Law demanded righteousness

and cursed my dreadful sin.

The Law demanded sinlessness

but I could not comply.

God’s holiness could accept nothing less

but that one should come to die.

A helpless wretch that I was,

God would be more than just

If He left me in my disgrace.

Aye! but in His good pleasure

His grace came down

And on the cross he took my place.

Prone to Wander

“How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell” -Robert Robinson

At work today, hauling back a water truck to Elko from a gold mine off Nevada’s Highway 50, the “Loneliest Road in America,” I enjoyed some thoughts about God’s grace towards me. How far beyond charitable He has been! That He rescued me from my sinful plight is incomprehensible in and of itself, but to make me, an enemy by birth, a son through Christ’s atoning death on the cross is too wonderful for me to completely grasp. Meditating on these things, part of a stanza came off my lips:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.

These words come from the oft-sung Christian hymn, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, by Robert Robinson, an eighteenth century Calvinist-Methodist-turned-Baptist minister in England. The hymn itself is ripe with amazed gratitude in response to receiving God’s grace, and a poetic reaction to being pursued and rescued by Christ. The whole song is worth including here because I am wholly unsatisfied with quoting it in part.

Among the many variations, both old and contemporary, the 1758 version is one of my favorites. Despite my own aversion to reading block quotes, I include it below.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.