The seventh volume of L. S. Chafer's 'Systematic Theology' is a 312 page book of doctrinal summaries. My friend Ray Kurowski has been reading this set of books and we talked recently about 'getting to' this volume in the set.
I decided to pull it off the shelf and start going through it again. Why? Because his life sharpens my life. He is an incredible guy. A man of faith.
I got thinking about all of the amazing people I know and have had the privilege of knowing.
My family and my wife's family blesses me so much. Each one of them means so much to me. I wouldn't know them if it were not for her. Now I pray every day for them and I'm part of their family and they are my family.
My old childhood friends from Roosevelt Island. What an eclectic bunch of amazing accomplished people. Some are not with us anymore. Others are artists, musicians and amazing people in a thousand different ways. I wish now I had more of a capacity for friendship as a child. Still our lives touched back them and are intertwined in some ways now. We share a history. We have a heritage.
Then there is my crazy Church family. Wow. If it were not for Jesus I would not know most of these people. I would have no reason to know them or for them to know me. They are gifts from God every one of them. Even the ones that have hurt me over the years. Relationships are like that joy and pain. Fun and trouble. Laughter and tears.
The books I read. The music I listen to. The God I worship. The thoughts I think and the memories that I think about are all shaped in some way by the people God has put in my path.
A man's life is shaped by accomplishment. We are just built that way. I have failed much more than succeeded. I have given up at times when I should have stuck it out and I have held on when I should have let go. Perhaps we all have. But, Oh the people I have met along the way are amazing people. God had a plan through it all.
In the end you and I will be a testimony of God's accomplishment not our own. We will revel in His glory if we have gotten to know Him through His Son. Our citizenship will be linked to that one crucial relationship. It will be the light that lights every other relationship forever.
This morning I lift the people I have known to God in prayer. He is the 'very present help'... He is the 'friend that sticks closer than a brother'... He is my lifeline to sanity and fraternity.