I look over towards the wall and see that the clock is saying that it is 5:59 a.m. I am on vacation here in Disney World escaping the cold of Minnesota for a couple of weeks while making memories with my family.
The sober truth of the fragility of life has been made so apparent to me these last few days. When driving to Disney I witnessed a horrible accident that took the life of the driver and perhaps other family members as well. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and I could see that as the vehicle had spun around he was not able to stay in the vehicle, and so perished. The day that it happened was on Thanksgiving and this family was heading somewhere to have a special meal with loved ones, but instead, met an untimely end.
Not meaning to make this message sound gloomy and disheartening; my hope though is to relay the fragility of life and how precious our time here on earth is. We think many times that we will live forever, especially when we are young. But as in all things in life, it too will end.
Thinking back to my past, I was in a job as a school administrator many years ago. I was trying to make a difference in children’s lives, but was finding it very challenging due to the difficulty in doing my job because of the people in power. Deception, untruths and self seeking caused a string of administrators ahead of me to quit the job I now had. I found that after one year of working there, life was just too impossible to continue in that environment. I too was to become a casualty of the job, it made my life very hard to find peace in such a difficult place to work. You see, I had left God out of the decision making when taking the job. Through much prayer after one very hard year there, I was determined to go in search of a better work environment. It was not long that I found the job of my dreams in southwestern Minnesota as a middle school principal.
Working there I was determined set it up as an environment of openness where each of us could work together for the sake of the children. Each day I wanted to go home and feel that I made a difference in the lives of the children, and those whom I worked with. I had a good boss as well who supported my ideas, some (ideas) were a little unconventional, but overall we made them work. After two years there I thought I found the perfect place to live and work for the rest of my life. The staff worked hard and I found that with many of them I could call them my friend. I did not want to leave this place, but in all things God has a plan for us.
One day while in Winona when going to church with my cousin and her husband I met the woman that was to be my wife. When dating Anne, I found out that she had a bad heart, and probably would not live a full life as most of us do. I loved her more than I could say and I wanted to spend the rest of our lives together for however long God had for us.
When leaving my ideal job in which I had worked so hard for by going to school for so many years, a previous superintendent who retired in town decided to stop by and speak to me. He wanted to know why I was leaving and wondered if he could talk me into staying. We spoke for some time and I told him that my wife to be was finishing a degree and I wanted to give her a chance to complete it uninterrupted. He then asked me how I would live; I told him that I would bag groceries if needed. I knew in my heart that if God could change my heart in what was important to me, he would also provide a way for us to live. I did get a job teaching “At-Risk” children again as I had done years before. The job just opened up in a town near my fiancé. God had a plan!
|Anne and Abby|
In a short few years of marriage, we lost our first child after 4 months of pregnancy. God helped us through this loss by strengthening our faith, and we came to realize once again that God still had a plan. A couple of years later my son William came into the world. God blessed us with a beautiful boy, but in his first moments of life he struggled to breath, he had a collapsed lung. I
held on to his hand for 5 days as he struggled to breath under an oxygen tent, and he in turn held on to my finger. At the end of this time, with many prayers
given up to heaven, God was gracious with us and he healed our son’s lung. Not only was this a miracle, we found out
during this time some more good news. A
heart specialist told us that my wife Anne’s heart was now normal.
Anne had extensive tests done in Chicago and they confirmed that she had a heart that would deteriorate in time. Now the doctors were saying that her heart looked very normal. Two miracles took place during this time. God has a plan! I now have a wonderful boy who is sleeping a few feet away, as well as a beautiful little 8-year-old girl, Abby.
God is teaching me that with each day he gives us, it is a gift. Who he gives to us is also a gift that we should not take for granted. Is life short and precious, yes it is. I have found that as I look back and see God’s hand in my life I come to realize that he has a perfect plan for each of us. Is it always easy, by no means! Is it always without pain and loss, again no. God promises us that he will never leave or forsake us and that he has a perfect plan for each of us. Each day is a step of faith in walking with God. Each day we need to pursue his will for our lives and desire to come before his presence in his loving grace. We are human and we have many weaknesses and we make many mistakes, but God loves us and will forgive us for whatever we have done wrong, if we ask this of him. He is a wonderful father who wants the very best for our lives. He has a plan for each of us.
Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."