This week I am teaching on soul winning to 1,200 students at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX. In honor of Gordan Lindsay, the founder of CFNI, I am posting a poem he wrote on my blog.
Sunrise and skies are fair
A day begins without a care:
A day for joy, a day for leisure,
A day for thrills, a day for pleasure.
Youth is merry, youth is gay;
The great Grim Reaper is far away.
But there is a call, ‘tis the Master’s voice:
“I need you today; may I be your choice?
A harvest is waiting and fields are white,
Will you join the reapers in the morning bright?
Awake, O youth to the heavenly vision:
Multitudes - multitudes in the valley of decision.”
Morning sun high above the earth;
A cry of distress in the midst of mirth.
Heathen are born and heathen die;
Is there none to hear their cry?
“Oh yes,” said the youth, “count me as one,
To help in the harvest till the day is done.”
(Yet he lingered on for a little more fun.)
High sun and high noon;
“You’ll be hearing me soon.
I’ve married a wife; I’ve property to see,
Five yoke of oxen acquired by me.
I’ll soon heed the call and join the band
Ready to give the reapers a hand.”
(But he tarried on; he’d a bargain in land.)
Afternoon sun and afternoon light,
The golden orb hastened its flight.
Conscience still heard; memory daunted.
Wealth he’d acquired, yet more was wanted.
(Many were the possessions he proudly
House and barns, lands and farms,
Streams and ponds, stocks and bonds,
Chickens and hogs, forest and logs,
Sheep and cows, thoroughbred sows,
Crops and flax, meadows and haystacks,
Orchards and cherries, vineyards and berries.
Day was waxing and day was waning,
Still the rich man was entertaining.
For a sinister voice had spoken and said,
“On with the fun; on with the dance;
Make merry while you have a chance.
You’re a man of the times - ten feet tall.”
To conscience he said, “Time yet for the call.”
So a little more folly, and a little more fun.
(And the hours slipped away until there were none.)
Sun rise to sun fall;
The day was wasting on the western wall.
Hands still busy with a thousand things,
As evening descends and curfew rings.
The day has faded into twilight red,
As multitudes hastened to join the dead.
“I am ready; I am ready,” said the man at last.
But shaking hands could not hold fast.
Hair unnoticed had turned to gray,
Still he thought it was yesterday.
Alas, harvest past, it was too late to save.
Those who had gone to a Christless grave.
Where is the silver, where is the gold?
Where are the possessions to another sold?
Where are the sheep that grazed on the hill?
Where are the cattle that drank from the rill?
Where are the barns that were filled with plenty?
Where are the thoroughbreds, one hundred and twenty?
Where are the heirlooms, where are the treasures?
Where is the laughter; where are the pleasures?
Where are the parties; where is the wine?
Where are the delicacies and the dinners so fine?
Sun sunk low and night descending,
Summer gone, and the harvest is ending.
Oh, for a chance for time extended.
(A wasted life was never intended.)
Sun fall and moon rise
What is left of the rich man’s prize?
Go out through the valley to yonder hill,
And see the marble standing still
Treasures offered in heaven; but he took instead
The cold reward of the unsaved dead.
And what of us who live today?
This is our hour; let us not stay.
A call to harvest till it shall end.
Work now, work fast, reap, my friend.
New dawn and sun rise,
To the faithful, the Master will give the Prize.