Life Lessons

This New Year has begun on a rather sobering note. Yes, there have
been many things to celebrate. The first weekend of January I
officiated at a wedding in the morning and attended another wedding
in the late afternoon. Great joy! However, the second weekend of
January presented quite a different story as I officiated at two
memorial services. In fact, for the first time in my ministry I officiated
at three memorial services in the course of seven days, the third
happening a few days into the third week of January. One dear saint
died after a blessed and long life. Two other brothers in Christ died in
their mid-sixties. And there have been several other deaths recently,
one of a very special young man. It can be a bit overwhelming. Oh, and then we got news of the
birth of a new baby in the congregation! Life and ministry are like that: a mix of events and
emotions ranging from joy to sorrow and all the mundane and routine things in between.
As I process these events, I am continually called back to appreciating the precious moments of
life. I truly feel sad for people who live in a cocoon of apathy, unaware of the amazing gift of
life—and how quickly everything can change. David reminds us in Psalm 103:15-16, “Our days
on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone—as
though we had never been here.” That’s why we heed Paul’s advice in Ephesians 5:15, 16, “So
be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every
opportunity in these evil days.”
I have a series of phrases I use to remind myself to make the most of every moment. Here are
three Life Lessons that help me daily.
Pay attention and look for God’s presence every day. I learned from David and Karen Mains
to practice this discipline they call “The God Hunt sighting.” Life comes alive when we cultivate a
consciousness that the Lord is with us always (Matthew 28:20), watching everything that
concerns us (1 Peter 5:6, 7). What we call coincidences are really “God – incidences.” Where is
God working in my life and around me now?
Don’t Postpone. I am the kind of person who tends to postpone fun or personal pursuits
because of responsibilities. Work and chores come first. But I am learning to mix it up a bit—and
not wait “for the perfect moment” to do something enjoyable or spontaneous. Life is too short to
wait until I finish my “To Do List” to take a day or block of time to enjoy an opportunity or to act
on a good impulse.
The main lesson is this: Plan to live a long, long time and be ready to “go home” at any
moment.

See you in church!