Wednesday, June 21, 2017

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” ― Mark Twain

                          In 1972, my wife and I attended a John Denver concert at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, California.  We were big fans and were really happy to get to see him in person.  Through his songs and his career, he helped both of us to know the “why” in the quote above.  We’ll never forgot what he said when he first walked on stage that night (remember this was very early in his career and his first big concert), “Woooeee, I wish my mother could see me now!”  I remember that because every time I have done something I thought was significant, I wanted to show my parents that I was doing something well.  I guess that includes me spending twelve years as an unpaid, volunteer missionary in East Africa running our mission and living on just our retirement and social security.  It seemed like such a silly idea at the time moving to Africa, and now it seems like we have always lived here and can’t imagine living anywhere else.  We have accomplished a lot since we have been here: Karen, me, and our son, John—with a whole lot of help from friends and family in the U.S.  Others have told us of just how much we have done (like Dr. Chris telling us we are beloved by the locals), but it doesn’t seem like much to us because we are just doing what we’ve been called to do, and we don’t do a whole lot every day, it just sorta piles up over the years.  Sadly, my father died in 2003 before we ever moved to Africa, but he did know that we were planning to do it, and he approved.  My mother lived for another ten years after his death and knew what we were doing here, but her mind started going long before we had ever really accomplished much.  I guess all of us want our parents to be proud of us, and I am certainly proud of all three of my sons, but it is our Heavenly Father that we really need to please.  It doesn’t matter how much others think of what we have done here, or what others say about it, what matters at the end is what we hear when we enter into the company of all the saints.  All I want to hear is, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”  It’s not about earthly fame or praise or honors or the accumulation of possessions and money—it’s about being obedient and available when God asks us to be His hands and voice through our service to others.  We pray that we can be strong enough to continue to serve until we are called to His home.  Until then, we all need to remember to be kind to our family, our friends, and the strangers that we meet.  Remind those you love how important they are to you.  Really, do it today.  You will be blessed if you do, as well as those you tell.

    ** On a side note, I found out why over 200 readers stopped reading the blog a while back.  Seems that in two countries (Russia and India), the blog is used to help teach English and school was out.  Probably pick back up in the fall.  I guess it’s a compliment as my English must be good to be used as a model.  

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