Memorials

Like most of you I am thinking about the past this week.  Monday was our nation’s observance of Memorial Day.  For many of us, this is a time to remember and appreciate the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.  I use this time to also think about the people in my life who have made a difference.  Just like our military personnel, these people in my life have made a huge difference that is sometimes overlooked.  I do not want overlook them.

Let me start with my parents.  No, I won’t eulogize them.  They are not perfect.  Wow, am I glad that they weren’t!  If they had been, I would have been so discouraged as a young person.  I am not perfect.  They showed me (and continue to!) that faithfulness is more important than perfection.  They have been faithful. They have been faithful to each other and faithful to their family.  They pushed my brother and I to do our best, but they never expressed to us that we were not good enough just the way we were.  What a gift.

I also want to remember Pastors John, Steve, and Jeff.  These three men were instrumental in my childhood and teen years to show me what true ministry looked like.  They too, were faithful.  They were different from one another (so different) and that difference proved to me by example that God could use even me (I’m pretty different myself).   I don’t know what type of conflict they may have had because of those differences, but they worked through it and made the church stronger because of it.  May God bless them.

Let me now remember my seminary professors.  Several of them did much more than simply teach me about their subject.  They passed on their love of God’s Word and His people to me in permanent ways.  I wish I could honor all of them by name, but let it suffice that their knowledge, passion, and love did not leave me untouched.  I hope that I can be a testament to their good work.

I could go on to talk about my wife, my friends, and even my children.  All have transformed me in ways that I cannot even fathom.  My question at this point is – what will I leave behind that will remind others of their great contribution in my life?  In the Old Testament this was done through pillars and memorial stones.  These monuments shouted out to others that God was at work there.  They reminded the people of covenants between men and God.  We have such monuments today.  The commemorate battles, sacrifices, and people.

I don’t want to build such a monument.  I don’t want to build a monument of stone or wood.  I want to build a monument of my life.  May it be a symbol to all of what those in my past have done in me.  May it show what a contribution those who have touched me have made in this world.  May they be blessed through me.

Something to think about,

Pastor John

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