Chinese depiction of Jesus and the rich man (M...
Chinese depiction of Jesus and the rich man (Mark 10) – 1879, Beijing, China (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Residual is defined as pertaining to or constituting a residue or remainder, that which is remaining or left over. Synonyms incorporate such words as continuing, lasting, lingering and most importantly in this case enduring.

Life on this earth takes a toll on a person. As youth we look to the future with anticipation and excitement as we are full of hope with plans for careers, families, children and even wealth among a host of other possibilities. As we lay down these mental visions of tomorrow we never consider the consequence of plans going awry or unexpected disappointments or failures that shatter our naïve belief that things will go as we have prescribed without out a hitch.

As years progress a form of wisdom emerges graced with the scars of life’s battles, brought on by relationships broken, accomplishments not realized, a body that breaks down, a hunger that goes unfed. It is rare a person goes through life unchallenged in one form or another and even further remote that no future pain is in the offing. Somewhere along this line of longevity there comes a reassessment of our state of being and plans get altered and acceptance of our present state sets in always with echoes in the mind declaring how we are going to change things and make them better. It is to be sure that many will make the attempt to re-educate themselves to a different course, but that one within still remains less than totally satisfied, still something is missing.

As a man of 60+ years I look back, I review, I scrutinize, and I wish. I wish I had done some things differently. Remorse for cross word I should not have spoken. A decision I should not have made or did make, and I wonder who is in charge here. Is it me or could something or someone play such a major part in my life that made it become such as it is? Can I, a body of clay with a form of intelligence be so compelled as to chart a course in life that fits the definition of success in a worldly sense and yet be an abject failure in the eyes of God? I felt at times as though I were a stranger here wondering where and how I fit in. I look upon society and it’s medium and I say what? I have asked: “Where am I?” Who am I? What am I doing, questions all and seemingly without answer.

God called me to Jesus through a person, a person who knowing far more than I, and provided this man’s analytical mind with a possible answer. A Savior, that is to become the Lord of my life thereby freeing me from the slavery of adherence to a mind that was devoid of answers but full of questions. So upon coming to Him I bring my clutter, my leftovers, and my residuals to be reformatted by a new mind that does not seek its own but rather the things of God. A man reborn with an assured new start and the “old” has passed away and along with it the residuals of a man who now finds his concentration upon Jesus and his purpose upon this earth and I found my place of being. But the removal of the old is pain to the soul and demanding to the flesh. It is not easy to die to the flesh and it but by the Grace of God that one carries on.

So as friendships wither away and loves are lost to something else, a place of loneliness appears and a state of remorse prevails and you wonder why. An internal struggle ensues and you begin to manipulate facts to try and make your feelings better to no avail. Focus is lost and you flounder seemingly lost in space all alone with no change to this predicament in sight and no one cares. At this point self-pity sets in and you observe others caring only about their own affairs of life and when near to you do not notice your plight or your needs and it angers you. You try to speak out and question why they are so oblivious to your need to be considered and distance sets in and you say to yourself what’s the use and you go on. Another day passes, and then another day and days turn into weeks and weeks into years with no apparent changes forthcoming and you think you have no intrinsic value so why live any longer and relapse into a pattern that seems like a vise holding you there and there is no escape. Oh there are momentary events that divert your attention for a time but soon you find yourself back into your quandary and same mundane life each time the readjustment struggles more acute and difficult and you wonder and you wonder when all this ends.

Where my son is your place of focus? Was that you lord? My focus has been on me I say and not on you my Lord. I know that my entire attention should be on Jesus but how can that be when it is always upon me? Paul said that he must decrease so that the Lord may increase within him, however, he didn’t state succinctly what a battle that is. To remove oneself from the throne of his life to allow Jesus his rightful place shouldn’t be such a struggle but it is. It’s hard to realize your best in the flesh is counted but dung in the presence of holiness. So there it is the battle of pride and “self-preservation” over abeyance to the call of the Lord to deny the self and follow him. Where are we going Lord and he doesn’t answer just follow me he says. I’m trying I say, I’m trying.

 Blessed are those who endure when they are tested. When they pass the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

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