From having lunch one weekend with my college roommate and seeing my best friend from college the next I have been reflecting on the goodness of the Lord. I just had a text conversation with my son who is in Chicago. I am so proud of the man he has become. Susanne is at the hospital for her shift as chaplain. I am going to celebrate a special 16th Birthday for a young man who has been a part of our lives for 11 years. When his dad passed away suddenly in 2007, I was the pastor of this family as well as living five blocks down the same street. He has become our ‘adopted” grandson from a little boy he has grown so that today he is inches taller than me. All of these people have added color and texture to my life.
When I needed help along the way there were so many who stepped up: family, friends, the people at church, teachers, and professors to name a few. Pastors and denominational leaders poured into my life, and it seems that only from the vantage point of today do I realize how much they contributed to my development. I believe the Lord wants me to be aware of His Presence and to love people as He would love them. I have tried to share this love with the person who cuts my hair, as well as two of the waitstaff at my local breakfast restaurant. I am asking the Lord to make me more kind and tender and to be sympathetic to hurts and needs of others.
I am indebted to so many who have contributed in large and small ways in my life. If I started naming names, I would fill several blog posts. What does any of this have to do with the passing of time? As I look back on significant events in my life, it seems like only yesterday, and yet many of them are from several decades ago! If time is passing and it is, then we must be careful to seize the moments that we have and use them for the Lord. If there is someone you need to call stop right now and call them. How about a promised breakfast or lunch that you have never gotten around to scheduling, go ahead and take the time and set the time and place and extend the invitation. Is there someone that needs you to spend time with and offer them encouragement and help? Go ahead and put it on your calendar. The passing of time in this context reminds me of two realities: Celebrate they way that God worked in your life through other people. The second is why not be the one to step in and in big or small ways seek to be of assistance. I still remember the man from my home church who took the entire Sunday School hour and taught this 12-year-old boy how to tie a tie. I had the privilege of telling him one Sunday evening when he came to visit where I was pastoring. After we had a snack at our house, it was time for them to make the 40-mile trip home. Standing outside in my driveway I said “John I have never told you how much I love and appreciate you, there were several times you made a difference in my life.” “So, I want to make sure that I say thank you for caring and helping, I will never forget what you did.” He passed away several years ago, and I am so glad I said thank-you. Is there someone you need to thank? Let us live with an attitude of gratitude.