Monday, January 24, 2011

Young Guy Turns Out Not So Bad After All!

Hey Dude?  Who is this good lookin' young guy then? He looks bold and brash and yes, he's even started shaving!  I'd say from that distant look he's just set eyes on his intended.  He's watching her across the room and hoping that she will eyeball him too.  Who'd have thought that they would marry at 20 years of age!  What, so young?  And then, stay together through nearly 39 years of marriage, serving God and other people, believing the God of the Bible and urging others to believe Him too. Just what is it that motivated this young man and his girlfriend to go all out for the gospel when countless others around them were hell-bent on pleasure, money and power?  And what is it that has kept them following after the crazy message of the grace of God through illness, bereavement, sorrow, frustration and pain?

Well, a big part of it is that there is nowhere else to go.  Once when the disciples of Jesus saw that quite a few early followers of Christ were turning away from Him, they were startled by the Saviour's question. 'Will you also go away?'  'Master', they replied, 'Where else would we go? You alone have the words of eternal life'.  Through more than 40 years of discipleship on three continents and in several cultures this young guy and his girl were to find that there really is no other way to find life, joy and peace, nor the assurance that life with Christ never ends.  So much else is temporary, and so much tarnished by flimsy motives and selfishness - but following Jesus Christ really does make sense, even into the 21st Century.

And so the years have taken their toll.  Early enthusiasm and confidence have given way to measured balance and honest doubts.  Things that once were so certain have long since passed their warranty but are still hanging on! The waistline has widened and the hairline taken flight, but down deep it's still me, and I still love Diane and am fascinated by her beauty.  And what's more, if I could do it all over again, I would not change one bit of it.  No, not one bit, because even the bad bits that didn't kill me have made me stronger, and the sad parts have been the shadows that only go to prove that beyond the clouds the sun is still shining.