One Life to Live

watchI was standing on a snow covered field getting colder by the moment.  The wind had picked up and I had forgotten my hat.  Of all things, a guy with barely any hair forgets his hat.  I had remembered my suit and tie, my good shoes and most importantly a heavy overcoat.   We met the people we had been looking for and trudged out to the graveside together.  Deb and I were attending the burial of the human remains of Priscilla Grubb this week and hoping that the service would go quickly as the temperature seemed to be dropping by the minute.  I did not really know Priscilla nor did I know her much more famous father Norman.  Despite this, as the representative of our ministry, I had been asked to be at this event.

As we got closer to the graveside, I saw the markers that were the only remaining hints that norman grubbNorman, his wife and now his daughter had their earthly remains placed in this particular spot.  Interestingly, Norman is remembered today far more for his books than the life he lived and yet he had a pretty interesting life.  As the son-in-law of the famous cricketer and missionary pioneer, C.T. Studd, he had been a key leader of WEC International and helped to provide vision for the CLC Ministry in which I now serve.   He had traveled all over the world, influenced hundreds of people and had ended his days on earth on the hill that I now live. 

Listening to the words of the funeral liturgy and the comforting words of the scripture, I could not help be struck by the reality of how short are lives really are.  Norman nearly lived 100 years on this earth and yet that is so infinitesimal in the scope of time as we know it.   In honor of Priscilla, Norman and so many others that have gone on before me, I share this famous poem written by C.T. Studd himself,

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last
.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last
.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last
.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last
.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last
.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last
.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last
.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last
. ”

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last
.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

C.T Studd

ct studd

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1 Comment

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One response to “One Life to Live

  1. Marge Almack

    Great reminder, Dave! Thanks for sharing.

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