The passing of my friend, Allan, took me back to my preteen and early teen years; to a more carefree time when we couldn't wait to get outside, to play a game of road hockey or bike over to the local park to start up a baseball game. In many ways, those days were much simplier. Allan was the same age as I am and his death seemed to usher in a new season of my own journey.
In my 20's I rounded the first bend with lots of energy. We had each other, we had our dreams and God was leading. I was during this time that our grandparents passed away and both our dads were gone by the time I was 27. We spent a long time on the back stretch, raising a family and seeking to be faithful to God's call to serve in the local church. We came out of that season abundantly blessed. We both sense we are in a different season now; there is not denying the passing of time.
For me, it feels like I'm rounding the bend and the homestretch is in from of me. I don't see the finish line yet, but I know it's out there somewhere and myjob is to keep running until I cross that line; to finish the race set before me, to finish well for the honor and glory of my Lord.
To do that, I'm going to need the same spirtit as Caleb, his passion and purpose. I need to reslove to never stop trusting the Lord, to never let go of the promises of God and never stop serving the Lord. And, as long as I stand in the pulpit at Valley, I am never going to stop encouraging you, no matter what your age, no matter where you are in the race of life to keep going strong from the Lord, to serve Him with all the strength He gives. May Valley be a place where we cheer one another on, until we hear the words we all long to hear, well done, good and faithful servant.
Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)
I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. (Psalm 146:2)
Blessed is the one who who trusts in the Lord. (Psalm 40:4)