Don’t Miss The Moments

February 22nd 2014

Inspired by my Mother’s declining mental health, I penned this letter in hopes I was not too late for her to comprehend my deepest thoughts of her. I dedicate this expression of love to all the sons and daughters who share my passion for the one who gave them life.
I lost my Mother in November of 2010. Today is her birthday; she would be 93.
I miss her.

The Letter:
February 4th, 2006

Dearest Mom,
As I write this letter—long overdue—I smile. Memories, like photographs in an old family album, flash in then out of focus, one by one, too many to count. All my thoughts are of you.

For 60 years you have loved me; without conditions you have loved me. Words lack substance to describe my heart, filled beyond containment with gratitude for who I am because of you. In your quiet humble way you have taught me how to be a man.

These eight words define your life; you are the sum total of all their meaning.

Perseverance: No matter what life brought your way you made the best of it. You have never given up. God has blessed you in your striving.

Humility: You put God first; ever trusting, never doubting, always expecting beauty from ashes that only He can bring.

Joy: That smile to light up a room, that glow of contentment from somewhere deep—that is you, always you.

Godly faith: This is knitted deep into your soul, a commitment not of words, but of living in the moment, every moment. On your knees, in your room, your quiet prayers for a wayward son, to a God of love; I listened through the door; I am that son, I remember.

Strength: Not by choice but by circumstance you became the Mother, the Father, the sole provider in a family void of a man who cared enough to be a Father. But you loved him anyway, with a God love, far beyond my understanding.

Generosity: Mom, out of your need you gave, willingly, always without reservation—first to God, then to your children, then to others—you gave your resources, your time, your life.

Love: True love is selfless love—a Mother’s love, a Wife’s love—it describes you perfectly. Yours was a love to a husband who didn’t deserve it and to children who took it for granted. But you gave it anyway—and you give it—freely and without limit. May I strive to love my wife and children—and you—with that kind of love.

Optimism: To you the glass appears half full—always—never half empty. And things must have looked different through those ‘rose colored glasses’ when you looked at me. You have a way of seeing the world the way it should be instead of the way it is, and lemons can be lemonade if squeezed into a pitcher of sugar and water, mixed with love.

Time has grown me from a child into a man and I know you are proud of who I have become. But what I have invested into your life pales in comparison to what you have invested into mine.

You gave me life, but more than that—you taught me how to live it. I am forever grateful.

My words are few; my thoughts go deep. Mom, your life has touched so many. Your four children, (I, being the youngest) owe you much—for which you expect nothing in return. Please, know that you are loved—beyond measure you are loved.

Just as King Solomon describes the woman of Proverbs 31, you are that woman.

A time will come—too soon to be considered—when my hold on you will be released into the hands of He who made us, all of us. On that day God will smile with these words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” With tears I will remember, and know I have not lost you; I will see you again.

You are my Mom, but most of all you are my lifelong friend. You’re in my heart and in my soul, never to be forgotten.

Your son, forever,
Dan.

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Just Hangin’ On

2014—looks to be an interesting year.
That being said, I am reminded of a joke.
This guy falls off a cliff and on his way to sudden death he grabs onto the snag of a dead tree rooted in the rocky face. Saved for the moment but knowing it will only delay the inevitable, he looks up to the sky and cries out for help only to hear from none other than God Himself.
“Oh God, please help me!” The man says.
A booming voice from Heaven answers, “Do you trust me?”
“Is that you God?”
“Yes. Do you trust me?”
A rock breaks loose and plummets to the valley floor below; the snag shifts in his hand.
“Yes! I trust you!”
“Completely?”
The man thinks for a second, staring down at what will soon be his final destination. “Yes! Completely!”
“Then let go of the tree.”
The air stills to a deathly quiet as the man considers his options. Out of hopeful desperation he replies, “Is there anybody else up there?”

Too often I am that guy.
If life is measured in inches then the 18 inches from my head to my heart is the hardest journey for ‘my faith’ to travel. Simply put, the transformation of head knowledge to heart conviction is the most difficult journey of all.
Wouldn’t it be great if every morning at 8 o’clock sharp, over a cup of coffee and a cream cheese smothered bagel, God would sit across the table from me with His perfect unalterable plan for my day?—maybe even my life.
Okay, so that isn’t going to happen. I’m not even sure God likes bagels—or coffee.
Why is it that in this very moment, after 40 years of walking with Jesus, I still find myself in a fetal state of doubting God?
Maybe I live too much in ‘the moment’—in this life—with a limited glimpse of eternity.
Maybe outside ‘the moment’, above the smog of circumstance that blurs the vision of my faith, maybe in that place of clarity I can find the sense of strength to fulfill my life’s verse: “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 GNT.
In this year of 2014 I will reach deep within myself to rise above ‘the moment’ with a commitment to faith that only God can give.
In the beauty and mystery of human existence, may each of us strive in anticipation of God’s perfect plan for our lives.
“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 GNT