I knew the run from March to June would be more demanding and I was looking forward to a slower pace in July and August and some time off, which did happen, but the time from Canada Day to Labor Day certainly passed quickly!
As I think reflect on my summer experience, if was for me much like a roller-coaster ride; one that began with the privilege of sharing with the Barisoff family as they said 'goodbye' to Bill's mom and ended with another 'goodbye', our friend Guy Deschatelets. In between there were several visits, too many visits, to the hospital to seek to encourage a lady in Palliative Care and to connect with some friends at Valley.
As I thought about these experiences, I was reminded again just how uncertain life can be. I read Mitch Albom's 'The Time Keeper', a story abut the meaning of time and the cry of mankind for more time. I am reminded of the truth of Scripture: As no one has power over the wind to contain it, so no one has power over the time of their death. (Ecclesiastes 8:8) All of our days are indeed ordained by God (Psalm 139:16). The words of the Psalmist echo in my heart: Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
I am also reminded of the importance of having / nurturing our faith, so that we do not fade 'down the stretch'; so that we may journey with confidence through all our days here on earth and approach the finish line with a strong faith and the full assurance of the hope of heaven. There is something within me that wants to call out to you, my friends at Valley, to stay faithful, to stay in community, to keep worshipping and serving and giving as along as God gives us health and strength, so that we might live well during our remaining days and finish well to the honor and glory of our Savior!
I have also been reflecting on the incredible blessing of 'doing life together'. We had the joy of sharing in Scott and Tiffany's wedding in Ontario. I enjoyed the drive cross-country, although I wouldn't recommend making the 40+ hour trip in four days! Thank you again, for the way you entered into our joy and for the many ways you blessed and encouraged Scott and Tiffany!
It was wonderful to connect with family and friends at the wedding; all of the cousins, my sister's boys and brother's son were able to connect for the first time in years; we shared a dinner together at my mom's; we were able to connect with some good friends we had not seen in some time and I was able to reconnect with a friend and fellow Bruin fan; Mike was my best man at our wedding 32 years ago!
Beyond the joy of reconnecting with past friends we also shared life with you, our friends at Valley. I've watch and celebrated as you have ministered and supported and cared for one another in recent weeks. You have modelled what it is for the church to be the church to one another. In all of this I am reminded again that there is nothing like the local church, when the local church is functioning the way Jesus dreamed it would! The Church of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world! And we get to be part of it!
Thank you for sharing the journey with us!