1. The Jordan: The Decisive Start. 2. The Wilderness: Temptation. 3. The Transfiguration: An Emergency Measure. 4. Gethsemane: The Strange, Lone Struggle. 5. Calvary: Victory. 6. The Resurrection: Gravity Upward. 7. The Ascension: Back Home Again Until——
The Jordan: The Decisive Start
The Anvil of Experience.
Experience is going through a thing yourself, and having it go through you. And “through” here means not as a spear is thrust through a man’s body, piercing it, but as fire goes through that which it takes hold of, permeating; as an odor goes through a house, pervading it.
A man knows only what he experiences; what he goes through; what goes through him. He knows only what he is certain of. And he is certain of only that which he experiences.
It is one of the natural limitations of our humanity that it is so. Even the primary knowledge of space, and time, and so on comes in this way. A man knows space only by seeing or thinking through space. He knows time only by living consciously through some moments of time. Such knowledge is primary only in point of time.
Experience is weaving fact into the fabric of your life. The swift drive of the double-pointed shuttle, the hard push of the loom back and forth goes through you.
Experience is sowing truth in actual personal occurrences. The cutting, upturning edge of the plow, the tearing teeth of the harrow, go on inside your very being, while perhaps the moments drag themselves by, slow as snails.
Experience is hammering truth into shape upon the anvil of your life, while the pounding of the lightning trip-hammer is upon your own quivering flesh. It is seeing that which is most precious to you, so dear as to be your very life, seeing that in a furnace, seven times heated, while you, standing helplessly by, hope and trust perhaps, and yet wonder, even while trusting, wonder if—(shall I say it the way your heart talks it out within?), or, at most, wonderingly watch with heart almost stopped, and eyes big, to see if the form of the Fourth will intervene in your case, or whether something else is the Father’s will.
Experience is the three young Hebrews stepping with quiet, full, heel-to-toe tread into the hotly flaming furnace, not sure but it meant torture and death, only sure that it was the only right thing to do. It is the old Babylonian premier actually lowering nearer and nearer to those green eyes, and yawning jaws, and ivories polished on many a bone, clear of duty though not clear of anything else.