The Best Thing in My Life I Ever Did Do

If a highlight reel of my life were to be shown on television, I’m sure that many (read most) would change the channel.  Not much of any great concern to anyone in particular, and none of the business of everyone in general.  At the same time, it is my life and the events thereof break my heart as they are personal and not business.  In many ways, I have been extremely fortunate, and, in others, my life has been run-of-the-mill.  It has been my great pleasure, at times, to stand on the winner’s dais and feel the wind in my hair.  I have even had occasion to smile broadly with confidence and give the little half-wave.  You know- the one used by the Queen and beauty pageant contestants.

There have been times I was mighty right and times I was horribly wrong.  I can remember a few of each though some of the text is lost in translation.  It is an unfortunate fact that not enough time was spent in the correct lane, and my personal development has been hindered by time spent in the ditch.  I have remembered the good times in the sunlit days of my life and reminisced to heart’s content on many occasions.  The lowlights keep me awake on pathless nights.  I am both thankful for what I have done and wish to redo.  It’s always been a little easier for me to appropriate the grace of God in another life than to apply it to my own.  I am thankful for it but struggle to grasp it.

It is difficult to strike the proper balance in life.  All manner of folks speak and write on the topic as if it were that simple.  As in many things, it may be that different roads lead to the same destination, but the fact that we fight the battle of bustle on several fronts at once complicates the already tricky subject.  I have experienced a few periods of brief duration when it seemed everything was in perfect alignment, but I have mostly struggled along with the herd.  Keep moving folks, nothing to see here.  I’ve lived an ordinary life with flashes and flushes, but, as a poet said, “I’ve seen enough of my dreams come true to make me want to dream on.”  Some of these are known; others I reserve for myself.

Isolating grand moments, I have to confess first of all that I married well.  For my wife, I am truly grateful, but also believe that, as a young man, I saw in her what she has proved to be over the years.  When I give thanks for her, I’m not even saying that we are in total agreement or always have a unified outlook.  God has used her to curb my enthusiasm and help me avoid pitfalls.  Of course, I may have done similarly in her life, but that’s her story, not mine.  I am humbled considering the man I am and the one I could have been in view of this blessing.  Though sometimes we have our little spats, even fight like dogs and cats, we’re Ruff and Ready to meet the challenges of life. 

My two sons follow as great blessings.  I can honestly say I tried to be a good dad, but I must honestly admit I could have done better.  They were good boys, and have become good men.  It was a privilege to raise them, and now is a privilege to watch them separate from shore and sail the seas of life.  They are as we all were at their ages and do not feel the sting of loss that comes from parental perspectives.  When life is new, we look ahead.  As the years wane, we look behind.  The thought is sadder than the actual experience though grief is ever present for the greybeard.  I trust that the God of my hope will prove Himself in their lives even as He has in mine.  They are safer with Him than me.

To say that the greatest moment in one’s life occurred in childhood may seem incredulous at first hearing.  Can a person actually take their most important step before they are fully formed?  Yet, it was in childhood that I made life’s most significant decision when I trusted Christ as my Savior.  My faith was simple but real, and I surrendered my life to God when I heard the Spirit’s call.  Scripture teaches us that we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness when we are saved, and such clothing compels and empowers us to live a new though imperfect life.  Believers stand before God clean because of Jesus’ sacrifice and not personal merit.  The best thing in my life I ever did do was to take off the old robe and put on the new.     

Sterl

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