Life is not a game. But we sometimes sort of treat it like it is.
When you play a game, you plan your moves and take each one as it comes to you. And then you ultimately win or lose based on those moves. As you live life you also make moves, or do things that you do each day based on the best knowledge and using the resources that you have at the moment. But often you really do not know what your next move may be. Of course we plan and think this is what we are going to do tomorrow, next week or even a year or two in advance. But things could and sometimes do change. I am thinking this way because of a couple of events yesterday that really have forced me to think like this.
My next move yesterday afternoon was to get the shrubs around the house that were out of control, under control. Armed with hedge clippers and a ladder I went at the task full force. About 1/2 way through the job, on the side of the house, on uneven ground, my ladder gave way under me, and I came down with a thud. It hurt y'all. But I took a few deep breaths, and realized no bones broken, and looked around to make the realization that the world was still going on. No one else was coming to trim the now 1/2 trimmed shrubs. So I reset the ladder and climbed back up. I know some will fuss at me and if momma finds out I fell she will really fuss, but I will be careful. I know one of the days I will lose my ladder license. But praise the Lord this event did not have to be reported to the Insurance company.
As I completed the trimming my next move was to clean up the clippings. But my plans were again interrupted. This time a Cobb Officer called to ask if I could come. A tragic accident and a young man had lost his life. In minutes I was on my way. The next thing I knew I am trying to console the friends and family this young man. They were hearing the worst news possible coming out of my mouth. Powerful words that I spoke made them aware that their lives forever had just changed. Death notification is not ever planned, but it is always a tragic event that is never planned by anyone. Pray for a family in mourning this morning.
I am writing this morning with a sore arm and a very thoughtful and prayerful heart. Kathy and I will talk to a retirement planner today to contemplate our next move toward retirement. It is a good move, but sort of an odd one. We are both only 62 years old. We are blessed and ready to make this move that I have to call semi retirement. After yesterday I am more certain than ever that NO WAY I can stop doing the work doing God has called me to do as a Chaplain. No way can I stop. I will continue as long as I can move, crawl or grunt to do this call on my life. But, I will set my ladder on firm ground. And I will be ready when the phone rings.
To be sure the people that God sent me to yesterday afternoon have a very different set of moves today. Life is so fragile. Consider this about your next move.
16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:16-21 NLT
The events or moves I made yesterday will affect me today. The shrubbery trimmings still have to be cleaned up. We are still in the planning mode for the future and I will be sore today. But at least I am still going. I am able to continue what God wants me to do. For this I bow and worship the Lord and give thanks. People everywhere need the Lord. You can and do make a difference in many people's lives. My work as a Chaplain is unique and I am very blessed. I am not sure what my next move may be but I know for sure wherever I go Jesus is with me.