A song by Brandon Heath resonated with me recently. The song is called “I’m Not Who I Was” and that should describe any person who has decided to follow Jesus Christ. It certainly describes me. I am not who I was forty years ago or twenty years ago or even one year ago. This journey with Jesus cannot be status quo. You are either going forward or backward. Most of us have done both at various times during the journey. I have made a lot of mistakes over the thirty-eight years of my fumbling, bumbling, stumbling walk with Jesus. So the lyrics by Brandon Heath echo my own experience.
So far our married children have not blessed us with grandchildren. So Joni and I enjoy our grand-dogs and practice varying amounts of patience as we await grand-parenthood. However, my beautiful nieces and not quite as beautiful nephew have produced some awesome grandnieces and grandnephews. I am proud of every single one of them.
A recent story from my niece Diana made me both thankful and thoughtful. She experienced a “teachable moment” with her youngest son Caleb. This is the Encarta website definition of a teachable moment.
A moment of educational opportunity: a time at which a person, especially a child, is likely to be particularly disposed to learn something or particularly responsive to being taught or made aware of something.
A recent news story piqued my interest. Four Hooksett, New Hampshire town employees with 46 years of service between them were fired, in part for gossiping and discussing rumors of an improper relationship between the town administrator and another employee that Hooksett residents now agree were not true. The administrator complained, and after an investigation the town council fired the women, finding, “Gossip, whispering, and an unfriendly environment are causing poor morale and interfering with the efficient performance of town business.”
There will soon be a history making moment in Major League Baseball. The long revered home run record of Henry Aaron will be broken by Barry Bonds. America was swept up in euphoria when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa shattered Babe Ruth’s single season record. The excitement helped save a game badly damaged by petty labor disputes.
Earlier this month I related once again to Charlie Brown of the Peanuts comic strip. Linus and Charlie are having one of their lean on the fence discussions about life. The dialogue goes like this.
Linus: What’s the best thing to do with regrets.
Charlie Brown: Well, I think most people try to save them. Then they can take them out now and then and look at them.
Linus: Do you save all of your old regrets, Charlie Brown?
Charlie Brown: Oh yes, I have an award-winning collection!
And when you die, wisdom will die with you! NLT Job 12
Recently I spotted a T-Shirt that conveys a sad truth.
My Mother died in January so this will be my first Mother’s Day without her. This is a piece that I wrote right after her death. It is a story of incredible grace and redemption.
There is the sadness of loss that is tempered with the joy of seeing her relationship with the Lord Jesus in her final months. The last year of my Mom’s life caused me to think of Al Michael’s famous question from the 1980 Olympics. “Do you believe in miracles?”
I do believe in miracles. I have seen one.