Sometimes I am a kite, sometimes I am a wheelbarrow.
Entering 2024 and an excerpt from "The Goforths of China"
I have big plans for the year. How about you?
As I reflected over the Christmas break, conspired and dreamt about the things I want to write down in 2024, thought about the stories, goals, and adventures I want to pursue, I was reminded of a favourite line from a favourite sermon:
Sometimes I am like a kite and God must hold me back;
Sometimes I am like a wheelbarrow and God must push me.
This duality which, I think, many of us can swing between—from such boundless vision Heaven must restrain us to a weighed-down drudgery, our wheels sink into the ground—sounds a lot like the month January.
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The words from that sermon poked like the first green sprout of a potato plant through the cold, wet ground of this new year. And like the loose thread of a sweater one pulls only to unravel even more, when I pulled at that little green sprout of a memory, another memory emerged.
The memory unearthed as I stepped out for a walk to shake off some of the holiday chocolate and charcuterie. It was of another man, Jonathan Goforth. When I think about his life, words like sacrifice, other-worldly love, risk, faith, selflessness and devotion sprout all around me.
These concepts, I’m starting to suspect, are what I need to pull at, pull up, carry around, and contemplate as I walk into the new year.
I expected to write an article today about about goals in 2024, but then I remembered Goforth. So today I wanted to share a portion of a play with you that I’d forgotten about, buried.
It’s a story about the kind of faith and love that lead to unexpected places. About an obsession with truth that looses the grip on strong-held expectations. A story that makes me uncomfortable and invigorates all at once.
I hope this excerpt from the play shakes loose some hope in your heart today. And, that whatever you have planned for 2024, God has something even more incredible in mind for you and yours.
An excerpt from The Goforths of China
About the play.
Time: The play is set in the late 1800s and early 1900s, including the period of intense violence the Goforths experienced during the Boxer Rebellion.
Place: Toronto, Canada and various cities in China
Characters: ROSALIND GOFORTH
JONATHAN, her husband
MR. O’BRIEN a Canadian Minister
STUDENTS at Knox College where JONATHAN studies
The School’s PRINCIPAL
Note: 4 actors (at least 2 male and 1 female) can share all roles
You may have encountered the Goforths here on Things I Wrote Down before. I guess I can’t quite get them out of my head.
Here’s two honourable mentions: