“Fortunately Jesus didn’t leave [the disciples]-
or any of us-without hope or direction.
Where we fail, Jesus succeeded.
The only One who as able to recognize and follow His purpose from the beginning was Jesus.
He alone was able to obey consistently and please God completely.
And His divine mission was to make a way for each of us to do the same.”
I don’t know why I am still amazed…still amazed at how quickly our lives can
take a turn as our little worlds can quickly change in the blink of an eye.
This came to mind last night while watching the breaking news from Florida
when it was reported that there was a jewelry store robbery in
Coral Gables, Fl.
The armed robbers shot an employee of the jewelry store in the head,
took off from the store, carjacked a UPS truck, held guns to the driver’s head
and lead police on a chase that ended in a hail of gunfire.
The UPS driver and an innocent bystander were both killed.
The robbers were apprehended and both already had a laundry list of
past serious committed crimes.
I do not know how the store employee has fared.
As the wife of a man who ran his own jewelry store for 50 years,
we always thought about these incidents.
In fact, a few years before I had met my husband, he was shot in his store when
three armed men came into his store in an attempt to rob the store.
His body still bears the scar.
He was lucky.
I see a lot of UPS trucks out and about this time of year.
They actually come to our house a lot this time of year as I tend to
shop a bit more easily the older I get.
It’s a matter of a click and poof…
in a couple of days, a UPS driver rolls down my driveway.
So the thought of a man who got up yesterday to go to work and didn’t come home
last night tugged at my heart.
Then I think of the two shootings we’ve had on two of our different military bases
in the past two days…
People got up to go to work and didn’t come home because
of the evil intent of others.
So when I got an early morning call that The Mayor was throwing up
uncontrollably and they were headed to the ER of the Children’s hospital,
I simply got dressed and got in the car and made my way to Atlanta.
It hadn’t been my plan to make a mad dash on a Friday morning to Atlanta nor was it
our daughter-n-law’s plan to call into school and request a sub at the last minute.
Nor was it in the thoughts of a 22-month-old little girl to become suddenly
violently ill out of the blue.
But life happens…for good or bad.
I don’t know about you, but I pretty much take each day for granted.
Getting up, going through the motions of the day as I plan on doing the same
the following day.
I think we all do.
But maybe we, me, you all need to be a bit more reflective,
a bit more thought-filled.
Maybe we need to consider our lives a bit more reverently.
Considering it as a fragile gift that is to be savored and cherished.
Reveling in those who are nearest and dearest rather than the cursory hi’s and byes
as we pass like ships in the night.
Relishing, rather, in those brief moments we can spend together at home.
Maybe it’s the time of year, maybe it’s my age, but the revelation that life is fleeting
is felt more keenly.
And so the divisiveness eating away at our country, I find to be such a terrible waste
of time and energy.
He is good…
We are living in a time that has the lowest number of people attending a
Church or Synagogue.
We have the lowest number of people who consider religion as an
integral part of life.
We have the highest number of people who doubt the existence of God.
And yet we have some of the highest numbers of depression, suicide, addictions,
and a large number of the population that has a deep dissatisfaction with life.
I recently read that the traditional religions of Christianity and Judaism are
both being replaced in younger generations with an odd mix of yoga, self-help,
I saw the same thing happen in the early ’70s just as we were coming out of
the tumultuous ’60s along with a war, as people were looking desperately for some sort
of numbing agent. Self-help books were flying off the shelves.
But what is the first place we turn in the face of disaster?
We look to God.
A perplexing quirk and fickleness of humankind.
In our world, a little girl got medicine and got better.
In the world of others, they are trying to put to pieces
back together without their loved ones.
May we take this season of all things holiday to reconsider the
importance of our lives and of those in our lives.
Cherish those closest to you.
Hold them a bit longer, hug them a bit tighter.
Linger in their presence.
For both time and life are fleeting…
Be strong and courageous.
Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.
He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV