For the past two months I’ve been trying to finish a book I wrote several years ago about service. Though over the course of the last week I have been lacking in my want to rewrite a certain chapter based on the reminders that it would bring up. It was a chapter devoted to overcoming our past sins by understanding the motives that caused them in the first place. If we ignore our past then we are doomed to repeat it, which is something that Winston Churchill understood when he gave his famous speech about the horrors of World War II. For myself my reminders were good but hard to get through since they dealt directly with the death of my grandfather. The life that God was nurturing in me was set on fire the moment that He died and I realized that when you are called to serve or help then you must be willing to charge, not pause.
Here’s a snippet from that chapter:
I went to see my grandfather’s cemetery plot today. He died in August of 2005, (my grandfather was) a man I respected immensely, but it had been nearly four years before I could go near his plot to see him. I wouldn’t say that it was a paralyzing fear, but more in the sense that I really didn’t want to have to conquer those demons. I wanted to live in the idea that I was okay with not going there, that it didn’t matter if I was there or not. “He knows I loved him.” I shirked him, short changed the one man in my life that I wished was still near me again, my real mentor. I looked up to him and admired the man who lived his life for Christ. Who took his family to church every Sunday, no matter what country or place they were living, a true staple and solid foundation to which started my off own path in Christ. “…You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
In all my life I shrugged off responsibility, and was perfectly comfortable walking in the shadows of existence. Until that is my grandfather got sick and slipped away from our grasp (my family) into the arms of the Lord. It was kind of unnerving at the time to see my grandfather getting worse, and for all the times I wanted the Lord to heal him, He didn’t. To see such a solid Christian be destroyed from the inside out and to have no one offer him the peace that he needed, but he kept trudging along in his life. He was always that man I admired even when he was falling apart, he read his Bible everyday until I’m sure he couldn’t see it anymore and my grandmother had to read it for him, but he still wanted its sustenance in any form He could get it.
It’s not easy to dwell on the past, especially when it’s painful, but when we look back on our past in order to understand the future that is being unfolded. We don’t see clearly in the heat of pain or a trial, but when we fight with God by our side He has much more to show us when we have conquered it.
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