For a Lifetime
I know I'm going to cry.
If tears don't run down my face, I will be thoroughly surprised with myself.
As I'm standing there, waiting, watching, thinking, feeling, and rejoicing, the memories will be flashing through my mind. I won't even see the family and friends gathered around for the special moment. All I will see is a journey I've taken. A long, hard, sometimes treacherous journey that has paused just for a moment at a special stop.
The music will play, and she will appear.
I don't want to get all sappy, but I'm absolutely sure it will be beautiful.
And I'm probably going to cry. Because I know I don't deserve it, yet God in His grace has blessed me in an incredible way. And I will be totally and completely in love. Star-struck and spellbound. Probably even "twitterpated," like the cute little bunny rabbits on Bambi.
But I know this single moment won't last forever.
I was on a vacation recently (sadly, a very short vacation) with my family. We all were up in a part of the country that attracts a lot of older folks, who love the slow pace of life that this particular vacation spot offers.
I really should get this off my chest: Older people once made me angry. I always saw them as the reason that my mom shushed me or forced me to drag open the door or forbid me from practicing and performing cannonballs in the swimming pool at the hotel.
Nowadays when I see older folks, I just can't help but swell up with joy. And when I see an older couple, well, I just can't help but smile. Sometimes I want to be just like them. I know it's weird. The ads lining my Facebook wall are all begging me to jump in and enjoy the "good" life right now. I switch on the television and fun-for-the-moment begs for my attention. The magazines at the store sing out a different and destructive tune.
The lies are everywhere.
But even in the midst of this, I can't quite get the image out of my head of the elderly couple sitting across from each other holding hands at the restaurant last night. Maybe I'm sentimental. Maybe I'm a little emotional.
Or maybe it just reminds of a deeper truth.
Paul was nearing his final days on this earth. He found himself chained in a damp cell writing down his last words, which are recorded for us in his letter to his dear young friend and pastor, Timothy. In this book, he tells his dear friend and brother in Christ:
Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity (1 Tim. 5:1–2).
How are we to treat our father and mother? We are, of course, to honor our father and mother. To respect them, to listen to them. Why? First of all God has commanded it. And He knows what He's doing. If I had no example of how to live or act, I would be totally and completely lost. Paul knew what he was talking about. He knew the older folks in our lives have something special that us young people need to hear and listen to.
It's called wisdom.
But first, a quick field trip. We find ourselves on a hillside, in darkness.
This is Calvary, this is the cross, there is a man. His name is Jesus. He has lived a perfect life, a life that deserves no punishment. Yet there is He is. Bloodied, bruised, ripped apart in front of our eyes.
And it's my fault.
I'm the reason He is hanging on that cross like a piece of meat. My sin is what holds Him there. It's incredible. Paul says, "He humbled himself, even to death on a cross." And I am called to follow that example—humility even to death. I, too, am called to follow the example of Jesus Christ, the Man upon the cross. And because of His example, an example of humility, I am called to be humble as well. I am called to live as He lived and to follow His example in every aspect of my life.
This post was written by Tim Sweetman.
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