Obviously, I have to post this… J
It fits nicely with a couple books I have been reading on Christian martyrs. We will all die. Some more pleasantly than others. But we all die.
I’ve now written hundreds of blog posts and read many hundreds more. I’ve noticed something. The best is almost always in the last sentence or paragraph. Yours is no exception. It’s like we write with all these thoughts bottled up and can’t wait to get them out, so the conclusion can be written.
I wonder if that is what life is suppose to be. Everything we do as life goes on is for but one purpose…. To guarantee there is a great conclusion!
From: DAUVENSHINE [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:17 PM
To: Archie rhinesnew
Subject: (no subject)
A week ago, I received a call from my sister that her nephew by marriage had been killed in a car accident. Michael “Slim” was 23 years old, married and the daddy of a little 4 year old girl named Lainee. The family asked me to speak at Michael’s funeral. Of course I’m always willing to serve a family like this in time of grief and sorrow, but it’s never easy. Particularly since I didn’t personally know Michael, it was important that I hear from his family and friends, something about who he was, what was important to him, how he lived his life. What impact did he have on the world around him?
Sitting with the grieving family, I became quickly aware that Michael was just a simple young man. He loved to fish, garden and cook. He loved the outdoors and had a deep love for his family. He was the kind of young man that would do whatever he could for those he loved.
There were no real accomplishments, no stories of heroism, no great honors or achievements that you might normally mention in memorializing a person’s life. Michael was simply a man of integrity and genuine care. There were about 150 people at the service. My mind quickly began calculating how many of those might have actually had personal contact with Michael and how many were there in support of the family, but didn’t really know Michael. I wondered if 75 of those in attendance were impacted individually by Michael….what was the scope of his influence?
I thought of men throughout history who made such an impact on the world around them that their name continues to carry great respect and honor. Names like Jan Huss – who was burned at the stake for his sttruggle to bring the Word of God to the people, reforming the church in the 1300’s. He influenced Martin Luther who’s name continues on for generations….or John Wycliffe who’s name is carried on through Wycliffe Bible Translators…..this is just to name a few….
These thoughts led me to wonder, what impact am I having in the world for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Does the Lord place greater value on a man like Martin Luther, than a young man like Michael who only lived to be 23 and perhaps only made an impact on a few people?
I then came across the video 99 balloons on Youtube, which tells the story of Elliot a little boy who was born with a terminal illness and only lived for 99 days. I realized that there is no greater value placed on the life of someone of great influence, than the life of little Elliott or Michael. But we are each given one life. That life may be 99 years or 99 days….we are to give fully whatever it is we have been given – to the glory of God for the advancement of His Kingdom. Elliot had no voice, he had a hole in his heart and underdeveloped lungs. Yet his little life made a difference in the lives of his mom and dad who are now telling his story to the glory of God. Millions will hear of the 99 days of Elliott and know that he is now with Jesus…..Wow!
A week before Michael died in the accident, a preacher came by their house unannounced and talked to Michael for over an hour about heaven, salvation, Jesus…..eternity. Michael told his young bride that he was now confident that when he dies he will go to heaven and that he wanted her and their daughter to also be saved. It is that testimony that will more than likely go down as Michael’s greatest impact……as his wife and daughter grow in their relationship with Jesus, it will always point back to his testimony one week before his unexpected death.
I have been given a voice. I have been given resources. I have been given relationships and partnerships all over the world. I have been given opportunity. I have been given a platform from which to proclaim. I have been given tremendous support, love and encouragement. I have been given the joy of sharing in the vision to “heal the world”.
One day I will die. I don’t know when that day will come. My name will one day be forgotten. I want to live my life to the fullest, and in so doing, make the glorious name of Jesus famous wherever He allows me to bear His name. Wasted days, wasted years…..? No thank you.
I will give it all away, go wherever He leads me to go, say what he tells me to say, love all people with His unconditional love, serve the least of these in His name, and love the unloveable. I will humble myself and take the seat at the back of the room, in order that my King may be magnified and all eyes are on Him. This is my prayer.
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