That Which Matters

Angel's Rest Mountain, Pearisburg, Virginia

Angel’s Rest, Pearisburg, Virginia

“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

I took time off from the day job this week to clean out and organize my home office. With the theater season coming up, I need to be prepared. So, Monday I took everything out, redid pictures on the walls, and moved the furniture. Tuesday, I began the slow and painful process of putting back what needs to go back.

I mean, what really, really, really needs to go back.

What’s that important?

I do not miss the significance of asking that question on this day.

Forty years ago, in the summer of 1978, I was traveling with a ministry team from Asbury College (now University). We had spent the night at a camp meeting, and returned to another town in Michigan where we had a couple of days off before heading to our next camp in Pennsylvania.

I took a detour.

That morning the pastor of my home church called to tell me that my father had passed away. I’ve told the story before and the links are at the bottom of this post.

But, as of today, I’ve been without him twice as long as I was with him.

The sting is not as sharp as it was, but you never get over the loss.

In addition to the significance of the date, perhaps it is more pronounced this year as I’ve recently lost a very good friend from college. He was a member of our wedding party and we’ve tried to stay in touch over the years. Last week he passed after a long and courageous battle with a rare blood disease.

What could I say about him? As I tried to form the right words on Facebook, what came to me was that he was the very definition of “a life well-lived.”

I’m working out the details to go to his memorial service next weekend.

As life is never simple, this all happened the same week that I was volunteering for Vacation Bible School, and the week that I turned down an offered role because the commitment for the part was just too much.

So, I’ve been asking myself, what is really important?

I don’t just mean the pile of stuff I’m sorting through, although I have frequently asked “why do I still have this?”

And, I ask the same question about the other “stuff” that I’ve let pile up.

Is it really important?

I can’t answer that for you. I’m not really sure I can always answer that for myself.

But, I’ll keep asking.

Previous mentions of my Dad are listed below:

August 1, 2017: This Be Our Motto
August 1, 2016 We’re All A Mess
August 1, 2015 Obligatory “I Hate This Day” Post
August 1 2014 Because I’ll never forget
June 15, 2014: The last time I saw him
August 1, 2013: More than Half My Life Ago
March 13, 2013: That Awful March of 1983
August 1, 2012: Why I Hate August 1st
June 17, 2012: Why I hate writing about Father’s Day


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