I had on a fuzzy turquoise sweater; it had a rolled collar and I wore it with a black pencil skirt. I was 15 and very excited that I had a date with a most handsome young man who had flaming red hair and the bluest eyes you could imagine. There was a small cleft in his chin and a dimple when he smiled showing a mouth full of straight, white teeth, the fact that he was a body builder, a super athlete and smelled heavenly had nothing to do with it (she said unconvincingly). I was feeling embarrassed and unsure of myself and we were going bowling, I had never held a bowling ball in my hands and had no idea how to get that ball to go straight down the alley and hit anything but the gutter, that was all forgotten when he arrived at that door on Euclid Avenue and smiled his radiant smile at me. I had never held hands with a boy much less ever shared a kiss, but before that night was over I had done both, although the hand holding was a bit sweaty and the kiss was a tentative and awkward closed lip affair. I was in love.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 gives us a list of the times of man, a time to be born and a time to die is the way it begins. We come into the world crying while everyone around us is happy and laughing, when we exit the Ferris wheel of life everyone around us is crying while we are gladly heading toward our heavenly home. Verses 9-13 “But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going. I’ve decided that there’s nothing better to do than go ahead and have a good time and get the most we can out of life. That’s it—eat, drink, and make the most of your job. It’s God’s gift.”
In the past few weeks I have lived those verses as I went through my dad’s things and found the different business matters that needed to be taken care of, things he had carefully planned for us, his children, to have, he is gone and I would rather have him than anything that he could leave, but as long as we as his children are alive he will never die.
This evening I watched a 20-minute memorial video of the young man I described. As the events of his life went across the computer screen I saw him as I remembered him, I was 15 he was 19… but then I saw a more mature young man in wedding pictures looking every bit like the most happy groom, next came the family pictures with his children and more current times with his grandchildren, the pictures faded away with an “I love you Dad”. It once again reminded me that none of us have the promise of tomorrow we have to live for today. Two lines from a poem by C T Studd says, “Only one life, twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
In the devotion for yesterday I asked if we could try to be peacemakers in the upcoming holiday season. Thanksgiving will be this month on the 28th, then Christmas and then the celebration of the New Year. I had been dreading these events, the first since daddy went home, but I think now we will celebrate his life by setting his place at the table and talking about what a good life he lived and the heritage that he and my mother have given to us.
Live every day as if it were your last, one-day it will be. Selah
P.S. I am going to get out the picture that was made of us that night, look at it one more time and then put it away….