Saturday, October 25, 2008

about a but

It's a fact of life the older you get life transitions from weddings to christenings to funerals. Today is one of the later days. I went to a funeral. I'd rather go to weddings & christenings then funerals. Thankfully, today is not like the last few funerals I went to - that of a young person. I can't say today's was any better either because this was for an elderly (I hate that word). Today's was for one gentleman who impacted my life when I was a young man. I can't say elderly because to me he wasn't and how can you be when you're one that lore is written of? When one sits down to read the journals of the mountain men & trappers all one can do is picture you?

I've titled this about a but. A mentor, a Scout Leader, a buckskin wearing mountain man, all that was spoken of him did not include the but. There were no 'he was but...' or 'his but...' If there was a but on the other side of but was not a negative. There was a positive. There were many an example of how this gentleman treated others - always better then himself. There were examples of how he sacrificed so he could be with his beloved. There were examples of how he went without so others could be comfortable. There were pages of Scouting Lore that would be different had he not been there. The story of his family of his giving, giving, and giving. He lived the example all should follow.

There could have been a but. That but also most came to be... This but almost happened. BUT he died not knowing Christ - that is the but one does not want to hear. Of all the buts that could have been & are in life this is the but that changes everything. I am so glad his family loved him so much that thou they had the living example of Christ in their lives they stilled shared Christ with him. I am so glad that he accepted Christ. Thou not living a religious life, he exemplified the life to live - that of selflessness. No mater how 'good' one is there is no life perfect enough to gain access to heaven without having the life of Christ living inside. I am so glad the but ends 'but after all this good he did he accepted Christ and is alive though not with us.'

I know for this family, this time is hard, many traveled great distances just to be at his side. I know that the stories told are treasured. I know that the best condolences one can offer is a story or a listening ear. A book of pictures may not say much (troop history). A post card from a far - may not say anything. Faces unknown and yet touched, give not a clue. When all is strung together the thread of love revealed the but of not knowing Christ would shatter it all. The thread of life that ran is his life is the exemplary life, a finger print of Christ in everything he did, yet not recognized by him until the end. With all the threads in life end and the last needle of the tapestry pulled through, the finally picture seen without Christ it all unravels. I am so glad this family man, this Scout Leader, this selfless one finished his days with us knowing Christ.

I must pose this to those who read this entry: Is there a 'but' in your life? Is there stuff that would change the story told about you? I know not how to phrase the next. Do I dare say is a life lived for good and accepting Christ better then a life accepting Christ and then lived? Do I dare when does one accept Christ, after the party is over or before it begins? Do I dare ask, what's holding you back from accepting Christ? Will others one day say of you - he accepted Christ but (the blank) or will they say of you - he knew Christ and lived out his walk.

For the one who showed me how to live at peace in the outdoors (even a night without a sleeping bag or fire), for the one who taught me how to respect the outdoors, for the one who showed me what selflessness is. I thank his family for sharing Christ so that we may say and he knew Christ in the end and now lives.

*family & names purposely with held

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