Choose Life. . .

Bill McKenna has said: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well- preserved piece,
but to skid across the line broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, leaking oil, shouting GERONIMO!"

Moses said: "...therefore, choose life..." (Deuteronomy 30:19).

I choose life - with all its choices, challenges and changes!

How about you?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I knew there would be more thoughts of life on this could there not be?

Last week we went to a memorial service for... Let me back up...

When we moved into this house our older son, Jim, was nine months old, and for several more years he was the only little child on the street. Then came a family with a son just older than he. Greg. Instant best friends. A couple of years later another family next door with a son a year older - Kipp. When that lad started school, people down the street called him Jim because they looked so much alike; he didn't appreciate it. "I'm NOT Jim!" Then several more years and a family moved into the house on the corner. They had three sons ranging around the ages of the boys already on the street. Gary, Tim, and Brian. Instant "street gang." We parents were all thrilled that these kids didn't have to go away from the street to have friends. We always knew where they were; much of the time in my own yard.

They played together, probably fussed with each other but seemed to settle it together, went through school together, went to their separate churches, played Little League together, even drew an elongated baseball diamond on the street for the almost daily games, complete with caps off and hands on hearts for singing the National Anthem (yes, we had a flagpole).

The boys grew up and went off to college and jobs, but remained friends. One Thanksgiving school break I overheard the almost adults say, "How about a game of street ball for 'old times sake'?" They remarked the bases on the newly paved street and had at it, the balls flying much farther down the street than in the 'old times.'

One by one there were weddings and eventually kids. All the parents moved away (some passed away) except me. Still the guys remained friends.

Then--last week--the memorial service for the father of the three boys from the corner house. Each of the three now middle-aged sons spoke eloquently of the impact this quiet, gentle father had on their lives, and the lives of their children. It reminded me of the influence all fathers have, whether outgoing or reserved, and of the heritage the fathers of our street have left for their sons to hand on to those in their sphere of influence.

I didn't post on Memorial Day. I intended to. I didn't post on Father's Day. I intended to. I didn't even post of Independence Day. I intended to.

But these memories, and many more, will accompany me into the upcoming and ongoing changes in my little sphere.


  1. The legacy this man left is the 3 sons you watched grow into men. I like the way you started this and then backed up.

  2. And he was such a quiet entity on the street that we neighbors didn't know much about him. Still he impacted where it mattered. Thanks, Lisa.

  3. I love the peaceful, eloquent perspectives you share on "your little sphere." Your life has beauty because you perceive it, I think.

  4. As a dad, I would want to live with my sons in a way that will allow them to speak well of me when I am gone from their lives. Thanks for the thought-provoking entry!

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Steve. I do believe our attitudes affect our perceptions, which affect our attitudes...the whole domino effect.

  6. Pastor John, I don't know your sons, but I know their dad! And I've heard enough stories to know that the memories are great...and the beat goes on...