You know, a graveyard is a solemn place, to be sure.
Yesterday, I walked through one of these cities for the resting one's who've gone from us. I was only looking for some pictures, but I found something else I wasn't expecting...
This headstone. It struck me... (well, not literally, but anyways...)
I have no idea who A. O. White is. (was).
But I am sure the loss of his 20 year old wife must have been a major blow to him.
And it got me thinking of the old days. You know, the days when pioneers forged into lands unknown, to prepare the way for us, who seldom seem to appreciate the hardships they endured. It was no strange or abnormal thing for families to lose members like this. That was, unfortunately, commonplace.
And then I started thinking about a different sort of pioneer. The kind who worked so hard, so I could have a Bible. Or have the freedom to pray.
The ones who spent nights in prayer, so I could know what the Sabbath was. Or where dead people are.
Or maybe the missionaries who were scalped, or shot, or you name it, giving their all, only to give people a chance to hear of Jesus and His love.
I wonder if I appreciate their sacrifices like I ought to...
But there's more.
Yes, I believe that Jesus will come soon. Real soon.
But let's say time went on, for another hundred years.
Would people in that generation be able to look back at mine, and feel a sense of thankfulness for the sacrifices that were made? Am I, are we, as a generation, only here to reap the benefits of former selfless folks, or is there more than that?
My country, America, was built off of sacrifices.
My church was built off of sacrifices.
Ask anyone from the reformation. All was built off of sacrifice...
No. I'm not exempt. I refuse to listen to the lie that I only exist to reap, and not to sow.
I'm no one special. I have not much to offer...
But I will offer myself, for what little it's worth. The Christian walk is a battle and a march. Not a rest and a laziness.
I want to stand with Paul, when my life is over. (not that I'm worthy of standing next to him - far from it.)
When it's over, I want to have fought the good fight. Finished the course. Run the race.
And I know I won't be alone. I know many of you will be there, running too. Probably faster than me.
Never give up. Be faithful.
Let's never give anyone a chance to believe we're unwilling to sacrifice for the One who sacrifices all, and then some...