Sep 27, 2012

You Say Goodbye….

This past Sunday was filled with “goodbyes”. I know that “goodbyes” are part of life, but I don’t like them; I’ve had too many of them in my life. 

My daughter Anna is moving to another location 250 miles away so we had lunch together with almost all of the children and grandchildren. I say “almost all” because our son Jonathan lives almost 200 miles away with his wife Bonita and our grandson Emmett; so we don’t get to see them very often. And, although we want to encourage them and support them, we miss them so very much.

So the thought of Anna moving away has brought tears to my eyes today as I am writing this. I know that we will see her when comes to town; the main office of the company she works for is close to where we live. But, we are used to having her living two blocks away for the past few years. 

I am so very happy for her and proud that she continues to step out in leadership at the company for which she works, but once again, we said “goodbye” as we were just saying “hello” and I found my heart missing her and longing for more time together.

After the lunch, I had to say “goodbye” to my other children and grandchildren as well. They too leave a void in my life when they leave. I long to spend more time with EACH of them. It always seems that the time we spend as parents with our children when they are growing up goes by way too quickly. And now, we are saying “goodbyes” to our grandchildren as their parents are telling them; “We will see them soon”. 

Later, in the evening, I had more goodbyes to say. I had spent the previous eight days at a Leadership Conference at our church. It was attended mostly by Congolese Africans who came from the countries of Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, USA, and Canada. It was such a rich time of worship, teaching, and fellowship; which means we ate a lot of food!

I enjoyed spending time with pastors who didn’t even speak my language and yet still wanted to connect because we are all Christians. It was one of those times where I wished that I knew French so that even if I couldn’t speak Swahili, I could’ve met them half-way in conversation. I do so much appreciate those who interpreted so that I could understand.

And then, our time together was over and they departed to the next stop on their journey before they flew to their homes. We said “goodbye” as we were just saying “hello” and I found my heart missing them. I saw a bigger picture of this world we live in and why I get so many requests to visit other countries and, perhaps, some of what they need.

Stop. Don’t take relationships and the time we spend together for granted! Savor and enjoy every moment; you don’t know how many you have left. Today, please take some time to think about life and death and what’s important. Death is a reality - but so is God's offer of salvation in Christ. Is your hope in Christ? Don't put off your decision for Him, because you could be called into eternity at any moment - and then it will be too late.

Take time to talk to God and to talk to your friends. Take time to think about what’s important. Take time to slow down and smell the roses; it will be next week soon enough.

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