Please forgive me, I’m a little weepy-eyed as I sit to write to you today, its Tuesday night by the way. Some heavy things have come down recently that have me in a little bit of a funk. Last week I received word that our friend, mentor, former D.S. and former pastor of Preston Hollow, Mike Nichols, had to go to the ER. Mike had to have a pacemaker and a defibrillator implanted. He is out of the ICU now and doing better. Our dear Bob Vlach passed away this morning in his sleep. Antoine was feeling sick and running fever over the last several days, finally he wanted to go to the hospital. He has an infection that has seeped into his blood and caused him to be septic. He’s very weak and fatigued.
I know, I told you it was some heavy stuff that came down this week. All of it got me to thinking about our lives and how they’re lived out in such a short span of time. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 90:10, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” Medical science has made some great strides in adding to our longevity, and a great number of folks will live well into their 80’s, 90’s and even 100’s. Still, in comparison to the millennia that have passed, our lives are relatively short.
What we do with those relatively short years can be astounding. Some amass great fortunes. Some accrue great knowledge. Some progenerate large families. Some live in the fast lane and go a mile a minute in their race against time. Others find ways to stop and smell the roses and enjoy the time they have.
I wonder what we could accomplish if each of our days were lived not knowing if there would be another? How would we treat the stranger who we encounter? Would we stop to give money to the homeless and hungry along our paths? Would the laughter and innocence of children draw us closer to them, and encourage us to give them more of our time? Would the meals we share with others, become such great treasures we would never want them to end? Would we devote a lot of time to listen to God, as God tries to encourage us on our way? Would we have any time for anger or impatience? How expressive would our love be toward others?
I’m reminded of a Country song by Gene Watson, Pick the Wildwood Flower. There’s a line in that song that haunts me every now and then, such as it’s doing tonight. Gene sings, “And now as evening lays its shawl across the shoulders of my life I have defined, I couldn’t tie my life together with the guitar strings and a poet’s heart full of pride.” As evening is definitely laying its shawl across the shoulders of my life, I wonder how I would define it?
Would I define my life as one lived in tune with God? Would I say I have been generous with those around me, generous with my time, talents, love, grace, and forgiveness? Would those I love, know how much I love them? Would they see it in my actions and hear it in my words? Would the world be a better place because I have passed this way?
I’m so glad my friend Mike Nichols is on the mend, I can’t wait to see him in person, to hug his neck and tell him I love him and have been praying for his speedy recovery.
I know God’s healing is surrounding Antoine in his hospital bed right now. When I left this evening, I told him I love him. As I looked into his tired and weary eyes, I know he knows that for certain.
I cannot express how much I’m going to miss my friend Bob Vlach. What a kind, and pleasant, and giving, and gentle person he was. He always had a smile and kind word for me, and I’m sure for you too. I know this world is better because he has passed this way.
As you and I assess our short lives, lets endeavor to make every day count. Let’s make sure as many people as we possibly can touch know our love for them. Let’s give as much of ourselves away each day, so that those we encounter will know the depth and breadth of God’s truest love through us.
Your fellow traveler on the Way,