I can't help but share this picture from yesterday morning, taken just as Craig and Naomi were heading back to the airport and their life together in Connecticut. It was a treat to see them. Naomi's exuberance and love for Craig; Craig's steadiness and how much he so obviously adores Naomi. If there's one thing a man wants to see in a son-in-law, it's unconditional love for his daughter. I've felt confident in Craig pretty-much from day one. They are, already, a beautiful family.
Today started early with a trip to outpatient surgery for some preventative maintenance. But, no worries, it turns out I'm pristine - and in so many ways!
The checklist questionnaire I had to fill out in the waiting room was very instructive. I think there were close to 100 responses to various questions... and I checked "no" somewhere around 97 times. My only "yes" responses were the broken bone in the early sixties, the family history that set me up for the morning's explorative activities, and the fact that I pop an antacid on a regular basis.
That's not bad. Then my blood pressure was 118/56, my resting pulse was 55 and my blood oxygen level at 98%.
All told, they told me - in exchange for donating a considerable amount of money to my doctor's new, beach-front, vacation home - I'm practically perfect in every way.
Did they take my cholesterol? No! But I'm convinced that our new super-cool diet is going to bring me back toward a good number by the next time I check in again with my primary care doctor.
But routine maintenance is a critical part of a life that seeks to maximize the opportunity we have to live out our allotted time in productive and fulfilling ways.
- Did God give me a brain? Well, am I using it to it's potential?
- Do I have a "middle-aged" body? So what am I doing to make sure that I can stay "in the game" longer and serve God to the best of my ability?
- Have I been given the gift of faith? If so, then how am I engaging the world vis-a-vis my responsibility to be an active, full-time follower of Jesus...?
The list could go on. But I think you get the gist of the idea.
"Take a good look at yourself, Derek," I hear God saying. "You have so much! I've given you these awesome tools with which to engage this world. So what are you doing to make sure you honor the fact that I believe in you?"
So today's word is about faithfulness. Faithfulness to the good gifts we have been given.