Sunday, August 10, 2008
Have you seen this plaque hanging in the hallway at the top of the steps now. Mom put it there, and I see it every time I come home now.
"Only one life
Twill soon be past
Only what's done
for Christ will last"
Let me tell you about this plaque, and how it came to be in our home. It's an interesting story.
A long long long time ago I started dating your Mom when we were in high school. I was a shy goofy kid, but I really wanted your Mom to like me.
I also wanted her Mom and Dad to like me, so that they would let me keep showing up to date your mother. That's where this plaque comes in. When Christmas 1977 came around I bought a present for Mom, and also picked out a present - this plaque - for her Mom and Dad for their home. I thought that they would like the saying on the plaque since they were Christians, even though it didn't mean much to me.
They seemed to like it, and hung it on a wall in the back hallway.
Your Mom and I married three years later, and we made several visits to your grandpa and grandma's house. Everytime we went to visit, I would see that plaque hanging there on the wall. And every year, after I became a Christian, that plaque meant more and more to me.
Here's the thing: when you are very young, as I was when I bought that plaque, it doesn't seem like life will ever end. "Only one life, twill soon be past...." doesn't seem true. But it is. So, be careful how you spend your life. That's the point of the plaque.
What does it mean when it says "Only what's done for Christ will last"? This is an important question! It means that the stuff that we accumulate in life (cars, houses, TVs, video game consoles) don't matter much when you die. The things that we do for God (worship, taking care of your family, helping others as God asked us to do) matter. So:
- Spend time knowing what God wants for your life. Go to church. Read your Bible. Pray. Learn what God's purpose for your life is.
- Spend your life doing what God wants for your life. Be careful to become a Godly man. Be careful to choose a Godly wife. Raise Godly children. Give of yourself to help people.
Your Grandma knew this. She knew over the course of her life what the plaque said. She did a lot "for Christ", and it had a lasting effect on your Mom and me.
You know, boys, that when Grandma died and went to Heaven this year that we had to clean out their home so that Grandpa could move into his apartment. That was hard for your Mom. The brothers and sisters got together and decided how to divide all of the possessions that Grandma had accumulated in her life. They are good memories, but they are just possessions. Your Grandma's life was more valuable than just her possessions.
Your Mom called me on the day that your aunt and uncles were dividing up the possessions. Who would take what? Your Mom asked me what I wanted from the house.
"I only want one thing", I told her. "I want that plaque". It means a lot to me now, though it didn't when I first gave it as a poor gift.
Here's what I ask of you: every now and then, when you come home from school and walk up the stairs take a look at the plaque.
Only one life....live it well.
I love you both.