I know I haven’t posted anything in a couple of weeks, and this is not my normal day of the week to send out an article, but seeing as today is a special occasion, the last day of 2017, I wanted to share a couple of year-end thoughts and blessings.
Like many of you, I’m spending some serious time right now thinking and praying about my new commitments and resolutions for 2018. I’ve got my new Bible reading plan ready to go, various goals written down and mapped out, and I’ve even dusted off the old gym clothes that have been in the drawer too long. However, recent events have caused me to stop and consider all these “new” things I’m hoping to accomplish.
As many of you are aware from either my previous article or from my Sunday sermons, I’ve lost my wedding ring, and for those who’ve been asking, yes, it’s still missing. It has been just shy of a month since it flew off my finger and even though I’ve looked for it several more times, it continues to elude me. Thankfully I haven’t received any more concussions while searching.
Maybe because she’s nervous that I’m “sending out signals,” Penny has helped find a temporary replacement ring. However, this is no ordinary replacement. I had suggested looking through Cracker Jack boxes so I could have a secret decoder ring, but she came up with something much better. From an heirloom box, she pulled out my grandfather’s wedding ring that he gave me several years ago after my grandmother passed away. This ring has an even deeper significance because the diamond on it came from my great-grandmother’s wedding ring!
Wearing this ring has been a surprisingly eye-opening and even emotional experience. Simply because I’ve had a ring of my own all these years, my grandfather’s ring has stayed safely stored away. However, now that it’s on my finger I find myself continually thinking about the man who wore it for so many years before me along with all the family members and history it represents.
Why this is so important to me right now is because I’m remembering how those who’ve gone before me have already laid an awesome foundation of faith and Christ-like character for me to follow. Just like most people, too often I get wrapped up in trying something new in an attempt to improve myself. What I can’t forget is that sometimes in my quest for something new, I need to go back and follow the example of something old.
Again, take for example my grandfather, whose ring I now bear. He was an awesome example of faith and fidelity. No, not perfect, but he did “fight the good fight.” And there are plenty of other examples I can look to. My Granny showed me how to laugh and never take life too seriously while my other grandmother taught me to always, I mean always, cheer for the Dallas Cowboys! From parents, to aunts and uncles, from in-laws to brothers and sisters, I count myself blessed that I have so many people who have gone before me. As I struggle with how to be a better man, husband, and father I don’t need to try and figure it out all on my own. I’ve got some great examples to follow.
As you close out 2017 and prepare for a new year, before you make all your new plans, would you take just a few minutes to consider those God had go before you? Think about the good things they did, or in some cases are still doing, and look to the examples they left for you to follow.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (Hebrews 12:1, NIV)