Upload & Sell: On
I sat there in the sanctuary this morning listening to brothers, daughters, grandchildren, talking about our friend's husband. Amidst the sadness one feels for this family, and the husband, father, grandfather, friend who was snatched from this life in a blink, you have to be pretty detached not to realized "For whom the bell tolls............." it does indeed toll for thee.
We live our lives buried in the day to day tasks and responsibilities and in a blink comes the first day since our birth when we aren't there for the sunrise, an odd concept to ponder. Not to be morose, but we are all inching toward that day and most people spend more time planning a short vacation than they do focusing on eternity. Some have thought seriously about it and intellectualized themselves out of a belief in anything greater than themselves ( what hopeless hubris), some just really don't want to think about it and choose denial, I get that, but denying gravity doesn't make one any less subject to it. Others have been there but their hopes and dreams have been dashed because of life's events, seemingly unanswered prayers, or worst of all just plain old lazy indifference.
Make no mistake, Christianity is a difficult story to swallow and while Salvation is a Gift, one that can't be earned or bought, it seems that one does have to look for it, attempt to understand it to the degree that it can be understood, and accept the gift. Really when you dissect all the philosophical and religious routes man has traveled in search of meaning beyond this life, and the varying off the wall religious organizations he has concocted because Christianity seemed so preposterous, faith in my Carpenter doesn't seem so outlandish after all.
Glenn Smith's last four years of life, and the last six weeks of that four years, will stand as one of the most intense faith building experiences of my life, and I have had a few in 66 years. When I walked to the podium to deliver his eulogy, it was on the legs of Christ, and as unlikely a candidate as I was, it was to deliver a message from Him, that in the midst of despair and loss their is Hope. The message was clear and I delivered it as it was given to me, "Don't despair, Glenn went from the cockpit of his L39 to My Arms, because he trusted in Me six weeks ago........" Funny, I didn't even realize what was taking place during our friendship, until that Saturday night after his loss. I looked up at the harvest moon and began asking questions to which I expected no answers. Much to my surprise the answers came like a flood beginning with why Glenn walked across the ramp the first day we met, and ending with us having breakfast at La Madeleine in McKinney and him, against all odds, accepting Christ. When you have had that kind of experience, been a witness in retrospect to the workings of The Creator, your thought processes are forever changed.
I guess my point is, one that we are all free to consider, or not, without the Gift, without the Hope, the service we attended this morning, is nothing more than a sad gathering of people trying to come to grips with some memories and the fact that the game is over.