Over the past year, our family and I have been trying to be a source of support for a brother at our church who was diagnosed with brain cancer. He, his wife, and their two young children are wonderful people. Folks from Quest and his friends recently threw him a surprise birthday party and it was amazing to see people from around the city, state, country, and world fly into Seattle to celebrate his life.
While my “ministry paradigm” say it’s supposed to be the pastor ministering to the people, many times it just doesn’t work that way. It’s both. It’s reciprocal. It’s all. And sometimes, we’re all clueless and we live and wrestfully rest in the mystery of God’s infinite knowledge and grace. So, at times, we’re speechless, silent and still.
I’ve been reflecting on this brother’s journal – the ups, downs, and everything in between. His physical days are numbered – whether it be one month, one year, or 50 years. We obviously pray and hope for the latter but the life expectancy statistics from doctors and medical reports say otherwise. I’ve particularly been blessed by his “life lessons” that he’s been sharing through his journal. Here’s his latest. I’m also sharing a new video created by Justin [aka Roboto] from Quest who made this as an encouragement to his Community Group:
“Meaning is not something that you stumble across, like an answer to a riddle or a prize in a treasure hunt. Meaning is something you build into your life. You build it out of your own past, out of your affections and loyalties, out of the experience of humankind as it is passed on to you, out of your own talent and understanding, out of the things you believe in, out of the things and people you love, out of the values for which you are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there. You are the only one who can put them together into that unique pattern that will be your life. Let it be a life that has dignity and meaning for you.” -Anonymous
As I sit here nearing the end of my own life, I have been reflecting on this quote that I found about 10 years ago…… The things that I think about and cherish the most are my family and other loved ones; the most important thing in my life is Love and friendship, and my faith in God. Love gives meaning to my life.
There are many other things that can give meaning to your life, but without these three things, I think it is difficult to find true happiness and inner peace.
Love God. Love your family. Love your friends. For that matter, show love to strangers. Use your love to make a difference in people’s lives. It’s easy. J
My love for my wife and kids is what gets me up every morning. I have been completely overwhelmed by all the love that people have shown me over this past year – whether it be a caring email, a meal made with love, a visit, or a phone call. I’ve always known that I’ve had wonderful friends and family, but complete strangers have reached out to our family and have loved us and supported us. It has been awe inspiring. I am so thankful to God that he has put you all in my life.
I truly love you all. Your love gives me strength and helps keep me going.
Here’s the video entitled “Everything.” Watch it and pass it on.
Things don’t always turn out the way that we envision in our lives. We try. We pursue. We dream. But we come to realize that we have fallen short in a fallen world. And while skeptics and cynics will chomp on the opportunity to deride Christians for our “naivete,” this is the great hope of the Gospel:
Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:33-39]