Randy's Reflections
July 5, 2019, 4:00 PM

July/August 2019 Reflection


Life Interrupted or Living Life Well

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Thank you so much for the support you have given Joan and me these past few weeks as we walk this new part of our journey. As your cards and well wishes poured in, I found it was much easier than I had imagined to wish my mom farewell.

The words spoken at the memorial service were a testament to a woman who never let life get her down. As you heard more about her story, some of her ups and downs, and I heard about your story with her, I was even more convinced that she chose to live life as best she could. She received the difficult times along with the tremendous times accepting them as just part of life, and she lived that life well.

As I have experienced life I have found that plans for my day or week or month seem never to be realized as I had envisioned them. In some ways it seems my life is constantly interrupted. And no matter how hard I try to plan, even including contingency plans for interruptions, smoothly sailing is rarely experienced. Sometimes it seems like life is just a number of experiences, some troubling and some exhilarating, haphazardly strung together. So if we think to live life well is determined by just experiencing good times we are missing the point. I think living life well is more determined by how we approach life.

I loved the analogy our son, Ian, shared the day of the memorial service about life being like a busy airport. We all have various destinations, often going in different directions. We all are carrying different kinds of baggage and we have different expectations about our journey. Yet we are all in this airport together and we can chose how to make our way though the terminals, hurried and harried, or peacefully and calmly taking in the sights and sounds, noticing the beauty and wonder all around us.

This was part of the legacy my mom left to those who knew her. She took life as it came and learned to live life by focusing on the beauty and the good things and not spend a lot of time worrying about the troubling and distressing things. She was one who sought to live life well, not complain about how her expectations for life were always being interrupted.

I think Jesus wants us to look at life that same way. Life isn’t great just when our dreams come true, or our plans are fully realized, or all our desires and wants are met. No, living life to the full means we accept and sometimes embrace life with all its ups and downs. We receive the troubling times along with the exhilarating times. We take the cards we are dealt and we play them as best we can, celebrating along the way.

A favorite saying of my mom’s was, “Well, I guess we are making progress.” The progress could me an extra walk around the table with her walker, finishing another book for the book club, or even learning, for the fifth time, how to use face time on her phone. The progress wasn’t based on how far along she had come since the last time, but what had just been learned in that moment.

I pray that we all will take a page from Jayne Giffin’s playbook and not fret over life’s interruptions, but instead learn to live life well. It is then we can experience life to the full just as Jesus promised.

Learning how to live life to the full with you, Pastor Randy