My freshman year at Wheaton Academy, the football team lost their last game…and the championship. Jim was a senior, and was selected as a tackle for the all-conference team. I wondered what it must feel like to be all-conference. My junior year we won the conference championship – wild excitement! Our school had just over 200 students! Shortly thereafter I learned I had been selected for the all-conference team. My excitement was short lived, for I soon realized I was the same person I had always been and people treated me just as they always had. Life went on as usual. My senior year we went undefeated and I was again selected for the all-conference team. Excitement – and then life was back to normal. Just last year the school asked the members of the undefeated team to return for a 50th year celebration. At the half time of the homecoming game we were each given a football. Does anyone want my football? This year my un-defeated college team is planning on getting together for a reunion. I have decided there is no point in going. Neither my children nor grand children really care that I was a good football player. Excitement – Satisfaction – Indifference.
Sally Jo’s parents traveled extensively, and after each trip her mom would put together a wonderful scrap book….pictures, tickets, notes. It was fun to go through the scrap book with her mom, for through the scrap book she would tell the story of their trip. When her mom died, the scrap books stayed with Sally Jo’s dad. When he died, no member of the family really wanted the scrap books. Excitement –Satisfaction – Indifference.
This past Tuesday, Jonathan Clements, a financial columnist for the Wall Street Journal, wrote his “Parting Shot: what I learned from writing 1,008 columns” “The short answer is, you save now so you can spend later. But what will you spend your money on? People dream of endless leisure and bountiful possessions. Unfortunately, after a few months, endless leisure often seems like endless tedium. Similarly, you might imagine that a flashy new car or a fancy new home will be your ticket to eternal bliss. But a year after you make your purchase, the thrill will likely be gone, and you will be lusting after something else. My point: The right life of popular imagination is no great shakes. Money can give you the freedom to pursue your passions. Ideally, you want to spend your days engaged in activities that you find absorbing and satisfying, that you feel you are good at – and where you feel you’re doing good. Indeed the happiest retirees are typically those who have a sense of purpose, whether it is volunteering for their pet cause, coaching a children’s sport time, helping their church,…”
Excitement – Satisfaction – Indifference…or Purpose, Investment in People, Satisfaction.
I attended Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. One afternoon when I returned to my dorm room, I was totally surprised to find my father taking a nap on my bed. When I walked in he woke up. “Dad, what are you doing here?” He said he had come to Emory University for a medical conference – and to see me. He went on to say “your mother and I want you to know how proud we are of you. Chuck, all that matters in life is what we do for the Lord.” We stood there, both in tears. He gave me a big hug, told me he loved me…and left.
I thought what he said was over-kill. But I have come to believe the absolute truth of what he said.
I work at being a man God can work through – at living In Partnership With God. It has been good to experience the reality that when I obey and trust the Lord, and invest my life in the care and feeding of His children, God often brings change and joy into their lives, and into mine. Almost weekly I receive an e-mail from a person I know through which he shares the impact of my life upon his. This past week it was an e-mail from Andres Segovia, a DL counselor from Mexico, who is now a school teacher in Bolivia.
What I have done as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ has mattered.
Lasting Satisfaction and Joy!!!