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Horizontal And Vertical


In trying to explain the Spiritual world to people who have very little concept, how about this for a shot at it?

In 1954 my brother Bill, (William Rodney Stuart King) was tragically drowned in a sailing accident. I was 16 at the time and was in my first term at the BRNC Naval Academy at Dartmouth in the county of Devon. I was absolutely shattered and was totally unprepared to handle this situation. I was just becoming a good friend of my brother. The eight year difference did not seem to matter so much any more and we began to do many things together. I was hardly a Christian but this did wake me up as to the fragility of life and the fact that we were all going to die one day or another. It was a jolt which got me thinking.

There was a wonderful rather old and very charming English teacher called Barnes Lawrence and he found me in the college library sobbing quietly away. He put a comforting arm around my shoulder and then disappeared for a moment. He came back with some book and pointed me specially to some words which we copied out together. They were as follows.

"Life is immortal and Love is eternal and death is only a horizon. A horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight."

I was no Bible scholar and yes I enjoyed the Old Testament stories but had no idea how to apply the Word of God to help me in a time of crisis.

Now I am seventy and of course I realize that my time on this earth must soon be coming to an end. I am trying to prepare for the next life which will last for eternity. Nearly every day I get up early and try to communicate something to you that could be helpful to you too. Actually we are all old as the above account of my brother's sudden death is a sharp reminder.

Maybe this analogy will go some way to helping us understand the Spiritual World which is in my opinion the real world and is all around us.

I was talking to a bunch of teenage school kids just yesterday on the walking streets of Gummersbach. They were delightful young teens, boys and girls, and I was trying to explain the Spiritual World.

I said, "You know, all of us live in a very two dimensional level. Everything we do is really only in a very flat plane. We go to school then we go home then we go to the disco and time just flies by and before long we are old and we do not know why we ever were born and was there a reason for it?"

They giggled and agreed. Then I said that all around us was limitless space in all directions. Take up for example. Up and up and up and up for ever without end. Just imagine if there was an end which there isn't, what would be the other side? Then I said the same was to the right, left, forwards and backwards and down too. That needed a bit more explaining. Let's go down through the earth and out the other side and then again limitless space in all directions.

The point about all this space is that it is limitless. It is eternal. It goes on for ever. Everything on this earth can be measured. There are distances from Gummersbach to Cologne or London to New York or from your house to your office or school. It is not surprising that we remain focused always on this flat plane but think about it! We are really limiting ourselves, aren't we?

Remember today as you walk around doing your earthly business and chores that there is limitless timeless space all around you and this will help you to focus on that much more important and real world, the Spiritual World where God is and Heaven is.

In one week we will celebrate the birthday of a most exceptional event. The birthday of Jesus Christ. God took an extraordinary initiative to invade our flatland horizontal existence with the Christmas story. A story that is History. His story. History. The limitless vertical became our very limited horizontal. As we focus on this earth shaking event let's get our eyes on the limitless spiritual vertical real world and not just be so bothered and worried about this limited existence here on this flat surface.

A very Happy Christmas


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