As a young man I was always looking at the years I had to produce things that would make my mark on this earth and in this realm. I think all of us during our lives think this way when younger. I knew I’d write a book. I would also become an ordained minister and Chaplain. Well, the Chaplain part I knew by the alternative Biblical term of Evangelist.
We all tend to live in the moment of different phases of life. It seemed to be the younger years was watching my friends and family getting married and having children. It was always exciting to see a young married couple having children. That was the big event of a relationship. We also were building our careers and for a good many exploring our spiritual walk. I certainly was more into my spiritual walk. Jobs were for making a living and nothing more. I wasn’t the dedicated company man.
In all the years that have transported me to this day I have had spiritual testings that built a positive character into my life. Things that I encounter now would have destroyed me ten to fifteen years ago not to mention longer than that. God has tested me in finance, health and relationships. I’ve come close to bankruptcy twice, spiritual desolation (so it appeared to me), and lost my first marriage. I’m still estranged from my sons pretty much. When we do talk it is guarded. I utterly failed as a human at one point, but it was where God wanted me. I had to see I wasn’t capable of being the “self-made man” I used to refer to myself as being. I could no longer do for myself. Once I hit that rock bottom I was done.
That rock bottom is where the solid foundation is. Rock bottom is solid. That Rock is Jesus. Once all the rubble of my life had been removed and I was laying upon Jesus alone I came to realize He actually is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Then He could construct me. So now after almost thirteen years of building I’ve come to a place where I have realized what I do absolutely depends on His direction. I have peace with that.
My wife and I had decided this summer when she started drawing her Social Security she would work another year and then retire. But God had other plans. Two months after she started drawing her SS payments her contract where she worked was terminated along with her job. This is one of those things that would have set me into a tail spin ten or twenty years ago. But what did I do? I asked God what was the meaning in this. He told me immediately that it was time for her to go. That’s all I needed to know. It was settled and done. Of course we will not be paying of bills from the extra income she would have been getting. We are also in a deficit situation in the terms of someone not living in God’s realm of sufficiency, but that is not the way I look at it any longer. If anything I’ve learned the “take a circumstance and turn it into a challenge” time. I will let God work and I will move as He directs and we will continue to thrive in our latter years.
Having come to this end of life I have a new view of things. As mentioned when we were young we had a future to build. Now at this time all of my friends, my family, my wife and I are looking back to see if we accomplished what we set out to do. I have to say in all that has transpired I have done just that. My book is in the market place. I’m ordained. And most of all when my dad said I’d be dead by sixty, I broke the family curse. I’ll be seventy-two this coming week. I’m still healthy enough to pass a DoT physical and I’m driving a school bus of middle school and elementary students to and from school everyday of the week.
My wife is blessed as well. She became an ordained minister this past February and is active in ministry in our church. She seeks God fervently daily. Also, we love each other with an undying love that has joined us together from the day we set eyes on each other. Neither of us wanted to go home after our first meeting almost thirteen years ago. God gave me this woman. He sure knows how to put two people together that complement each other and we do.
Now to close this post I sadly have one last thing to say. In all my years of encounters with people I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of the good ones helped me when I was down. I remember when my business was flooded from the rain, a friend of mine from church came to help me clear my floor of water and hummed the theme music from Jaws as he did so. He tended to lighten the mood that day. He almost lost his wife from a very serious TBI when a piece of pipe flew through the windshield of their car and hit her in the face. She survived, but was many months recovering.
Now at this point in life I can still watch as young people make happy over newborns, but I’ve watched many of my friends pass on into the veil of this life to the other. This man I just mentioned died earlier this week. He was seventy-five. He had a very sordid past it turned out and I don’t know his status in life at the end. He and his wife had moved away so I hadn’t seen them in five or six years. He was a good man I believe. No different than me. Don’t expect me to cast the first stone. His passing affected me.
My advice to anyone is this. Don’t take life for granted. It can be gone in an instant. I thank God every day for the blessing of living in this life for now, but I know I will go through the veil myself at some point. I will then finally get to meet my savior face to face.