Monday, June 17, 2013

An unforgettable Father's Day

My children all live too far away for us to have invited ourselves over this Father's Day.  In any case, I always am anxious to hear from my children and often wait for the phone to ring or watch the mail box for a card.

When Bev and I awakened Saturday morning we decided a quick trip to Lake Tahoe was just what the doctor ordered.  And  the rest is history.  It was one of the best Father's Days I've ever had, even though I was away from my children.

It was special because I was with my wife who always affirms me as a father and grandfather.  It was special because we worshiped with a small church family and heard a biblical message on how to be a good father.  It was special because we hiked together in the beauty of God's creation and felt the rest and serenity of being away from the current responsibilities of packing and preparing to move.

And, yes, it was special because I heard from all of my children.

It was an unforgettable Father's Day; sandwiched in between the demands of life we took time to worship our heavenly Father midst the beauty of His creation and, in turn, He blessed us with rest and strength for the days ahead.

And today...more boxes.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Saying good-bye

I was struck again with the shortness of life--the utter surprise it is for us when someone we love dies without warning.

Two families suffered the loss of a loved one today--one, lost a grandfather, a true spiritual patriarch of his family from a tragic stroke.  Another lost their loved one from a possible overdose.  I only knew this person through my close friend but he was an "every day buddy" to him.  In any case, there is great sadness for these two families even as I write.

I am only loosely-connected with these two men but I feel connected.  I think both were my age, or a little older.  Though they were in the fall season of life, their families probably did not wake up this morning expecting them to be gone, and so quickly.

I am reminded of James' words that "life is a vapor..."  I know that.  But today it has special significance for me.

I am wrestling with some worrisome issues that seem overwhelming.  But all of a sudden they appear trivial and insignificant because they are not life and death matters--which, incidentally, I have addressed already through my relationship with God and the experience of His saving grace.  It's instructive to consider the things we allow to hold our emotions hostage, while life and death swirl around us in full and living color.

We can miss what matters if we let the little matters capture our energy and rob us of our joy.  Two families are saying "good-bye" today.  My heart aches for them.  It's an experience my forty-five years as a pastor and, specifically, four and a half years of Hospice chaplaincy remind me, for which it is difficult to prepare.

Don't miss the moments that count by being subject to the things that really don't.  Saying "good-bye" is a big deal and its reality can be embraced when the hope of eternal life is present.