9/26/18 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
This past Monday I was sitting at my desk, it was about 6:30 in the morning, thinking about my blog and wondering what I should write about. Then, the phone rings. You need to understand that for me, rarely does a 6:30 AM call bring good news. I saw on my caller ID that it was my daughter Heather, so I pick up the phone, said hello and asked if everything is OK? She assures me that everything was OK, but she wanted to tell me what had happened to her oldest son, our grandson Jesse the night before.
Jesse who is 16 years old, took his personal automobile into an undeveloped housing development to race his vehicle against some of his friends. Well Jesse ended up going too fast, lost control of his vehicle on a turn, rolled over his vehicle, ultimately totaling it. Jesse walked away from the accident unhurt, while his buddy who was riding with him, walked away with a concussion.
After apologizing to Heather and taking blame for some of Jesse’s DNA, I assured her that God saved Jesse’s life because He has a great plan for him, which I firmly believe. The reason I am so confident is because God had to do this very thing to get me on the path He had planned for my life. My prayer for Jesse is that he learns this lesson quicker than his Papa learned it, and sooner than many adults I know have learned it or have yet to learn it.
After hearing Jesse’s story, my mind went to the many times I have been involved in accidents. From the time I did extensive damage to my dad’s car, just 20 minutes after I got my driver’s license; to that time I was racing a friend of mine, hit a telephone pole halfway up, cutting the telephone pole in half, and doing a 180 degree turn in the air; to the time I had a head on collision with a car on my way home one winter day. At one time I counted over 10 accidents that I have been involved in, where I should have or could have been killed.
God then took my thoughts to the book of James… Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
I can assure you that Jesse never planned to total his vehicle, nor did I plan the multiple accidents that I have been in. Jesse is only 16 years old and one would think that he would have a long and prosperous life to live. But does he? His life could have been easily snuffed out last Sunday night. My life could have been snuffed out long before I was able to fulfill all of Judy’s hopes and dreams for a husband!! (a bit of an overstatement for sure!)
It made me think this morning: How often do I plan out my day, without even considering that God’s will for me which might be totally different from my plan? How often do people live as though they have plenty of time to do God’s will, and that the American dream and God’s dream are the same? How often do we live like we are here for the long term, instead of considering that the Bible says that our lives “are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
Have you ever considered how long a “mist” is? Over the past few weeks as I was driving to my cardiac therapy, there were mornings when I would start my drive in a mist, only for it to be gone in a few minutes. On a brisk morning in October I can go outside and see my breath and then it disappears before it clears my face. When Judy releases the steam from her instant pot, it dissipates before it reaches the ceiling. Such is the length of our lives in the light of eternity. It is here for a moment, and then it is gone.
Consider Job’s thoughts on the brevity of life… “Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow. Job 8:8-9 The Psalmist wrote… My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass. Psalm 102:11 We celebrate our birthdays based on years, Moses tells us to number our days… Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Heather also reminded me that when you think about how short life could be, you see and think about things differently. She mentioned her heart was different Sunday night when she picked up Jesse’s clothes that were all over the house. Her heart was much more sensitive when she went into Jesse’s room, after he had gone to bed. And Jesse was different as well, knowing that God’s plan could just as easily have been an “absent from the body, present with the Lord” experience.
So my heart aches for Jesse, as he has lost something that was very important to him, his “wheels.” My heart aches for Josh and Heather as they ache for their son Jesse, and consider how different their life could have been, if Jesse’s mist had ended Sunday night.
And I am also sorry that it took a call at 6:30 AM from my daughter to tell me about my grandson, to remind me that my life is not mine to plan, that my life is but a mist, that after I pray, after I plan, my heart needs to say… “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
So next time you put your life plans together, next time you organize your day, before you put any of those things into motion, ask yourself this question; “Who says you can!!”