After 20 hours behind the wheel, 1300 miles and way too many diet Cokes, I finally slept in my own bed last night. You see, I had driven to Independence, Kansas, to participate in John Palmer's memorial service this past Monday. It was one of those sad celebrations. Sad because we won't be able to fellowship with John for a while, yet a celebration over the fact that he lived well and because of his faith we know where he is.
I seem to be doing more funerals lately and they are for people who are closer to me in age. At 62 I realize that I'm not so old when compared to some but I also see that if I should live as long as my dad did I've only got 20 years left. And if they go by as quickly as the last 20 did, well.....that's just the day after tomorrow.
So what do we do with our time? I find myself wasting way too much, but there are some things that seem to grow in importance. I want to make sure that Jane knows how much she's loved. I want my daughters to know how proud I am of them. I want my sons-in-law to know what a privilege I think it is to be "family" with them. They're just awesome. I want my grandsons to know grandpa and to know how much they are loved by the big old guy who insists on teasing them and tickling them. And even though I'm not serving in a full time position as pastor these days I stll want my life to count for Christ. I want to find ways to encourage folks. My favorite phrase for several years has been to tell people, "you're probably doing better than you think you are."
I'm reminded of a sermon that I preached years ago. It was called "Finish Like A Pro." I'm not sure I did that in my last full time assignment. I have some regrets there. But as long as I have breath I still have days to change the outcome when it comes to the big issue of life. I want to be able to say with the Apostle Paul, "for me to live is Christ, to die is gain."
Rest well, John Palmer