What experiences have changed in our world…in your life…in the past eight years? While preparing to write a message for my column this week, I stumbled on this story I wrote in May of 2008. Read it and weep could have overcome as I remembered then and now. Many things have changed but God’s amazing grace still prevails. I share this writing with a thankful heart for how God brings good from the bad things we all go through while writing our love stories.
As you read, think on things that are lovely in your life and make sure you are prepared to meet Jesus at any given moment. Cherish a close relationship with the Lord and loved ones…for LIFE is SHORT.
Last week I ended my writing with Life is short…GET GOD! I guess you were wondering where in the world that came from. It stuck in my mind like glue as I worked out at The Center for Health and Wellness. Let me explain.
It was early last Tuesday morning when I positioned myself on one of the stationary bikes. I secured my earphones and began to pedal. A whole world of news and entertainment greeted me on the six television screens overhead. I wasn’t ready to face the morning menu any of the stations offered. Screen one aired country music videos, but each of them tore away at my heart. They told tales of mischief, malice, and make-believe love, so I opted for screen number two. This news show aired from western America where fires flared and threatened to turn entire towns to ashes. Channel three focused on uncontrollable flooding in our heartland. The next station showed furious flames engulf towns in the northern section of our United States. Channel five proudly displayed a map of America with a meteorologist searching for words to explain all the unusual weather happenings across our land. His final comment was, “folks, this is biblical weather.” That caught my attention as I pressed my button for channel six. This news show featured a happening in Chicago, that those in control of what we watch must have thought merited national coverage. A huge billboard displayed a message…Life is Short…Get a Divorce! Controversy over the message quickly brought the billboard’s advertisement from the eye of the public.
My flipper was busy as I tried to find something positive, uplifting on at least one of the television screens. Finally, I unplugged myself from any of the broadcasts, reflecting and quietly praying as I pedaled hard and fast. I pondered about the ugly, negative things we see happening all around us in our beautiful world. How depressing! Is there anything good happening? You bet there is…all around us. It just doesn’t make the news.
I lifted my head and slowed my pedaling just in time to see such an event take place only a few feet away. Clint had worked up a sweat on the elliptical machine. A dear lady in our church, Mrs. Lou, walked over and placed a bottle of water and a mint in his cup holder. His thankful smile had to warm her heart, it sure did his mom’s. He shared with me on the way home how he felt he had to have some water and there it was from Mrs. Lou. This is such a small act of kindness she does every day, but oh how it blesses the tired and thirsty. Such kind deeds happen all around us…hats off to folks like Mrs. Lou Royal who carry good news and blessings instead of negative news and bad attitudes.
I wrote about my morning adventure. The negative overtones chocked the message. I trashed the story, opting to write about kind deeds being done for our family. In my mind, Life is short…GET GOD settled my thoughts, bringing a smile to my weary soul.
This morning I found myself pedaling my bike and fumbling to secure my earphones once again. The same six television sets blared overhead, but today a pleasant, positive surprise awaited me and other viewers. Channel one showed Bucky Covington (our own Carolina boy) singing lyrics about how different life is from when we were boys and girls. What an uplifting video, as one shot focuses on a sign that says, Go To Church. The words of the song ring in my heart as Bucky sings of how different our world is from when we were young, and how we can still enjoy life even though things are different.
Flipping to the next channel, I praise God for a sixty year old lady who gave birth to twins, while thanking Him it wasn’t me at 53! She looked great and vowed that her message was of empowerment for women, showing our strength to do what we set our minds to do in life. Interestingly, her two older daughters did not share their mother’s excitement of having twins in her over the hill years.
Channel two was where I received my morning blessing. This news show featured heartwarming love stories sent in by readers, airing one each morning this week. Today two identical twin sisters shared their love and close bond for doing everything together. They even married on the same day, same ceremony, and lived side by side in the countryside of Virginia. Hurricane Isabella brought change to their lives. One of the sisters faced a tough time; her husband suffered brain damage and multiple wounds when a tree fell on him. She stood by him through dark, dreary days when the doctors told them most marriages could not survive such an ordeal. She believed and lived each day with hope. Today the sister and her husband shared their story of love and commitment.. She said she never, ever entertained thoughts of leaving him, for she found strength in honoring her vow to love and cherish him in sickness and in health. Their world is different now. A terrible storm dealt them a tough blow, but they didn’t allow it to turn their world upside down. They cope with each day with thankful hearts.
Today’s television time was refreshing. We must keep searching for the good things that are happening , while flipping fast from the bad things both on television and in our own lives.
Remembering that it truly is a whole different world…not like when we were little girls and boys …sheds light on this truth…Life is short…GET GOD!
Becky Spell Vann is a long-time columnist for The Sampson Independent’s Faith & Family section and owner of the outreach ministry Tim’s Gift.