Friday, February 28, 2020

Stepping Stones

He was approaching the end of his life and he welcomed the visits of the chaplain. He appreciated hearing scriptures read and praying together, but what he really enjoyed was telling some of his own personal memories. His favorite was a story about stepping stones.

He and his buddy had found a secret pathway to the schoolhouse. They could leave home after the school bus had gone and could still arrive at the schoolhouse just as the teacher was beginning to ring the bell for classes to begin.

The best part of their “secret pathway” was that near the end as they approached the schoolhouse they had to cross the creek on stepping stones they had discovered. It was great fun keeping the other students wondering how they had come without the help of the school bus!

There was a potential problem, however. They learned about it as the cold winds of November had begun to blow. They were so proud of their secret path that they were laughing and joking with such pride that they missed the smooth, dry stepping stones and had to spend the rest of the day at school in wet and clammy clothes!

I've thought of this little tale often and wondered: have I taken the time to choose the smooth, safe stepping stones through the rivers of life? Have you?

28 Feb 2020 - mshr

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Preparing a Place

Jesus said, "...I go to prepare a place for you...." (John 14:2). So then why does it take Jesus so long to prepare a place for us while we have to plod through our daily tasks and wait? Haven’t we been helping him to prepare that place everyday of our Lord-led lives? 

Perhaps, but most of us have overstuffed ourselves  like German sausages. Like overinflated balloons we are stuffed full of ourselves. We are so attentive to our own activities and projects that we have little time or space for the Lord. Imagine what a task it is for Him to either carve out the place to fit our size or trim us down eliminating our wants and needs so that we will fit the place He is preparing. No wonder it takes a while.  Some of us will have 70 -- or even 80 -- years to help Him complete that task! But it is never too late to replace our overgrown selfishness with His love which is designed to just fit the place He is preparing.

22 Feb 2020 - mshr

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Life's Legacy

Slipping unseen through our life’s daily adventures we build a legacy. A legacy is how others will remember us now and in the future. Our legacy may include the way we look, or the sound of our laughter, or our hobbies. What we could do well and what we could not do at all may be part of the memories we leave with others. How we made them feel while we were together will be cherished.

But a legacy is not the same as an obituary. An obituary is written at the time of death and recounts the accomplishments and successes of the deceased. It includes only facts as if the departed dear one could now be filed in a record book and forgotten.

Throughout our lives we create both legacies and obituaries from the same building materials and the choices we make. God has given us many gifts and it is the choices we make in using them that will fill memories and record books.

Obituaries are filed and usually forgotten. Legacies inspire others. Our legacy lists may preserve memories of each other and continue to comfort us before and after our obituaries are prepared. Fond memories will continue in our minds long after our obituaries are forgotten.

May our memories of each other continue to comfort us long after the forgotten pages of our obituary draw dust inside the record book!

15 Feb 2020 - mshr