Help Us Help Others

Help Us Help Others
Chaplaincy Clark County

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Born on the Fourth of July

Good morning,
I pray the day finds you well.

Born on the fourth of July.

I do not know to many people that can say that. As a matter of fact, I only know one person. This person is my wife's father, Jim. Yesterday, he turned 87-years-old. Obviously, yesterday was the fourth of July. Jim is an amazing man. He spent his life helping people. He raised great kids that all do their best to continue his legacy. The family is very close and very loving, another testament to Jim's life.

We had a scare a while back, we did not know if Jim would be around for this birthday, making this birthday especially special. We had a wonderful day filled with food, conversations, and laughter. The day ended with an amazing fireworks show that we could see right from the house.

Jim lives in Minnesota. Laurie and I flew in a few days ago. We will be flying out tonight. We normally do not make the trip for his birthday. We rationalize this by saying things like, "It is to far to go for such a short time." or "It costs to much." Then something happens and we make the trip.

As I sit here this morning, I cannot help but to think why we wait for a life event to make the effort to show someone how much they mean to us? As a pastor and chaplain I see this often. Usually in the form of a funeral or memorial. Throngs of people coming together to tell other people how much this person had meant to them and tell stories about them. I always ask myself, "Why do we wait until someone dies to tell other people how much they meant to us?"

I have been guilty of this too. We get so focused on the future that we really do not make the effort to do the truly important things in the present. In effect, we have been sleep walking through our present life as we kept our eyes focused on our future. We have put off things of the present so that we could do something down the road.

Laurie and I had a health scare a while back, it shook us awake. We still make plans for the future. We still keep an eye to the future, but we also take a good hard look at today. Somethings we just cannot do, we do not have the money or whatever to get it done right now so those are the things we plan for the future. Other things we can do today and instead of putting these things off for tomorrow we do them today.

One of the things that we can do today and it doesn't cost any money is to tell the people in your life how much they mean to you, how much you love them. We do not stop there, we do our best to show them how much they mean to us, how much we love them.

Born on the fourth of July.

Dad (Jim) had his birthday yesterday and we had the ability to fly to Minnesota and see him, so we did.

My prayer is that we all shake the sleep from our eyes and wake up. That we do not wait until a loved one is gone before we make the effort to say how much they mean to us, to say we love them. One thing that Christ taught us was to take the time, when the time arises. To not put off for tomorrow what you can do today. What would the world look like if we spent more time focused on showing our love for those in our lives and less time complaining about the things that we don't? Our YMCA has a saying, "Promote what you love, instead of complaining about the things you hate."

Jim, spent his life promoting the things he loved. His behavioral modeling has rubbed off. He is a great role model. this leads to my next question, "What role am I modeling?" my question to you is, "What role are you modeling?"

Something to ponder.


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