This morning I heard that an associate pastor at a Southern Baptist church in upstate South Carolina has an inoperable cancer with little hope of long-term survival. The man is 41 years old and has two children in elementary and middle school.
Wow, how that hits close to home. I am a 41-year old pastor of a Southern Baptist upstate South Carolina church. I have three children in middle and elementary school.
When newlyweds stand at the altar, we tend to think of all of the wonderful things life has in store. We dream of the positive goals we hope to accomplish and dreams we want to fulfill.
Life, however, can change dramatically and quickly. Most people never expect a sudden car accident, heart attack, or diagnosis of a terminal illness.
Reflecting on the news of that brother in Christ, I could not help but think about my family. How life would change for them if that were me. How fast the ethos of our world could be altered. It also made me do a quick evaluation of things that really matter versus things that just hold our attention.
What things have I done this week that really mattered? As I reflected on that question, I thought of a few . . .
- Spending a few one-on-one moments with my eleven-year old daughter in her room. Taking her hand and dancing her - allowing her to stand on my two feet - at her request.
- Our family taking a leisurely lunch with an old college friend and his family - catching up and learning how God has been at work in their lives.
- Making myself carve out some minutes to stop getting more "busy-work" done and instead open my Bible to read and pray.
- Taking a moment to thank a friend for the investment she has made in the lives of people.
- Stretching out in bed with my boys and wife and not rushing - asking questions about each other's lives, listening, and trying to give some feedback.
None of us know how much time we have on this earth - and how many opportunities will come to invest in things that really matter. We may have decades to enjoy life's goodness and share Christ's presence - or we may have only moments.
Let's take the opportunities in front of us to live for what really matters.