The Way it Ought To Be

The Way It Ought to Be

“They will still yield fruit in old age;they shall be full of sap and very green…”  Psalm 92

 Father, help me to not dismiss the significance of that night in Georgia as if I was quickly browsing through the wrong pages of a phone book.

It was a COLD, late New Year’s night with a stiff wind, a howling fire pit, and a clear sky with the milky way blinking above.

Chad, my son-in-law, hosted the gathering and his best friend Jason stopped by. I don’t want to be too sappy about this, but Jason came over, in part, because I was there. Bundled in puny jackets, we stoked the fire while talking about many things. These are fun men-and serious men about living a mission-minded life. Topics included intentional engagement in their community and making hard, sacrificial choices. Choices like adopting kids. Jason has two so far. Work and church came up, too. Our teeth chattering as the night grew colder, we ran out of firewood but not enthusiasm for the incredible life Christ has given us.

Upstairs, my astonishing wife of thirty nine years rested. My firstborn and the “grands” were snuggled and snoozing. I confess: I nearly used up the hot water in a long, hot shower to warm up-all the while praying and grinning. This was a evening that shouted: This is the way it ought to be-a loving, Christ-centered family that seeks me out and Godly young men asking this geezer for some time together!

I’ve officiated at funerals where the theme was happy outings and funny stories. Could it be following Jesus well and finishing strong offers more than leaving behind nice stories? Wanting to be remembered is enviable. Yet, Psalm 92:14 invites us to fruitful mission to “show forth that the LORD is upright.”

The “How?” question hovers close by. I am drawn to a phrase about Jesus that summarizes what I sensed that night. Scripture says Jesus became a priest through “the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16). In context, it is a contrast between the mysterious priest Melchizedek and Jesus’ priesthood. His was/is eternal, transcends others, and is validated by an unblemished life (Hebrews 9:14).

How can we have a lasting, indestructible life and be “full of sap and very green”? By shaping  ourselves to the message, character, and mission of Jesus (Romans 8:29). We can never fully be like Jesus; we can age with the Spirit’s help, ever growing closer to His likeness. The implications for actual, daily life here and now are enormous!

What is an example of your “The way it ought to be” moment?

The Herald-News, January 25, 2012.

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2 Responses to “The Way it Ought To Be”


  1. 1 Gam-ma McDaniel January 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    John,
    You DO have a talent for expressing yourself and inspiring others! This was well phrased and thought provoking…..
    We qualify…..to a certain extent….to the phrase quoted from Hebrews since we absolutely are often dumbly green……and the sap a bit sluggish as we age……
    We admire you…and love you…
    Mom & Dad

    Like

  2. 2 Gam-ma McDaniel January 28, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    OOOOPS! Wrong reference above; should have been quote from Psalms……

    Like


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