Well, my friends, thanks for joining me again for another fun filled excursion into the demented mind of an old history teacher. So, it's been 4 months since my last post and it's amazing how much has happened since then. My original plan for this post was to share an AMAZING list of things that have been annoying me lately. You know what I mean...people's failure to use turn signals, people driving slow in the left lane, why I can't make a 3 foot putt, people buying up all the toilet paper, etc. etc. etc.....You get the idea!
Instead, for today's topic, I have chosen to go with "When It's My Time"! Now, before you begin rolling your eyes and thinking horrible thoughts about me, just keep reading for a little longer. I will try to make my point quickly. I have a short attention span anyway, and so, tonight, while looking at Facebook, I saw a post from a dear friend from my youth and it really struck home. It was by Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.
“My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.”
― Stonewall Jackson
Now, I don't claim to be particularly brave, and I've never been in battle, but there is something in these words that really resonates with me. During the last few years, I've really begun to recognize when God is speaking to me. As I contemplated this quote, I realized that it was speaking directly to my heart.
Of course, "Stonewall" Jackson was a Confederate General and I can understand that some people may feel that my finding a quote of his unpleasant. Get over it! He was speaking the truth! God has fixed the time and method of my death. It was written before I was born and there is NOTHING I can do about it. More importantly, there is nothing I should WANT to do about it.
If my heart is right, if my faith is secure, if my relationship with my Heavenly Father is where it is supposed to be, then the time and circumstance of how/when it "overtakes" me, is inconsequential. All that I need to do is always be ready. My entire life, I have been a worrier. Ask ANYONE...especially my wife! I will worry about the color of sunshine! (Not really...that's an overstatement, but you get the idea).
My walk with Christ has changed incredibly in the last 3 years, and it has brought about a change in me that I can only say is Heaven sent! About 10 years ago, some VERY serious issues with my health began to seriously impact my life. Because of health issues, I have now retired, and I now spend a great deal of my time dealing with the effects of these issues. I'm not trying to sound overly dramatic, but the fact is, I have some issues that can end my life at any time.
Now, I don't know about you, but I'll be honest...that's given me more than a few moments of concern and worry. I won't bore you with the details, but one or two are pretty darn serious. When my mom passed away, it really brought me to the point that I had to really deal with this issue of "...when it's my time". Thanks to my dear friend Randy Robbins, and the GriefShare small group at Northwood Church, I finally began to understand the true meaning of physical "death" and the victory of eternal life. So, right now, the entire world is locked in the grip of COVID-19...the Coronavirus. We are "self-quarantined" and we are trying to figure out where we go and what we do from here on. I'll tell you what my wife and I did today...we washed my truck and her car. We ate grilled cheese sandwiches and walked the dog, and acted like life was normal. You see, there isn't ANYTHING she, or I, or anyone else can do about ANY of this! We are in God's hands!!!
Guess what? I'm NOT scared!!! I really should be...but I'm not! I suffer from 3 different things that could be fatal if I catch the "beer bug"...Oh well! God's given me such peace over this that I can't explain it to you! God decided when and how I would go long before I even existed. I'm good with that! I'm not going to be afraid of this "bug". If you really know me, then you realize that my life is in danger when I walk down a flight of stairs, go into my shop and cut on the table saw, or pick a fight with my wife! (Love you honey!)
But I am TRULY free of living in a spirit of fear! Christ has freed me from worry about how or when I will depart this earthly life. I admit it...I live an imperfect life, with more failures than victories, and I need God's help to get through each day...but that's OKAY! On this "When It's My Time" thing...God's got me covered!
PEACE & LOVE
Husband, father, sinner saved by the Grace of God, old teacher, wood-worker, bad golfer, USM Golden Eagle (forever) and MSU Bulldog lover (It's a daughter thing)