Do you remember that old Steve Green song “Find us Faithful?”
Was thinking about that today as I caught up on some obituaries from past areas we have lived. People who have gone on to glory who I remembered knowing in some of the best years of their lives.
I found myself reminiscing about conversations we had and the contributions they had made to the communities that they lived in.
Most of these people who have gone on were of that generation who are now in their 80’s and 90’s. They were taught a strong work ethic out of necessity and lack of modern conveniences. Although many of them came from pioneer stock that was characterized by grit and determination, they also knew that they needed each other to survive.
They were children in the great depression and married during World War 2. They survived blizzards on the prairie, drought and tornadoes. They knew hard times and they knew great times of celebration. They were there for the weddings and the funerals too.
They pulled together and despite not always seeing eye to eye, they were committed to what they had signed on for. They might go toe to toe, but at the end of the day, they knew that they had to live together, so as best as they could, they extended grace to each others weaknesses and learned to get along. Of course there were those that might become bitter or hold a grudge, but that was typically the exception and not the rule.
In one of the churches that my husband pastored, I can remember attending the funeral of yet another one of those dear persons who was born of that generation prior to the 1940’s. We had buried several that year and with tears in my eyes, I looked at one of the women in our church and said, “they are leaving us.”
She probably wondered what I meant by that, and at the time, I don’t know if I really knew. Later, as I had more time to reflect I knew exactly what I meant.
A lot of people would just see that an old person had died. Oh well, they come and go, it was their time.
But to me, I see these people who knew a simpler way of life albeit it a harder one in many ways. They were the ones who had gained wisdom and were not typically flighty and given to whatever popular culture was swaying them towards. They had common sense and values that they held strong to. Character mattered to them.
They had lost loved ones in wars, babies in childbirth, businesses and farms. Yet, they persevered through all of it, never giving up.
They were the ones that could bring clarity and perspective if they sat on a board. They were careful with financial decisions and they understood the importance of self discipline over instant gratification. They knew that simpler was often better and that life needed to be lived and not wasted.
Most of all, they had a strong and deep faith in a God who they knew they could depend on. He had been faithful to them and they would be faithful to Him.
I can look back on these lives, these people and see their contributions and their faith. I look at their children, their grandchildren and wonder if they realize the gift this person was or see the legacy that has been handed down to them. I can honestly say that of the ones I have known, most all of them lived very well, using the gifts God had given them to glorify Him during their brief time in this world.
They may never know that some of us were watching. Some of us needed to see that it is worth running this race to finish it well. Some of us needed to see faithfulness lived out and not just talked about or read about.
Someday, all of us will be gone from this world. Very little of what we have done will have as much impact as how we have lived and what we have left behind in the person that we were and the character we displayed.
Am I living a life that other’s would want to follow? Am I living a life that is faithful?
“Find Us Faithful” Steve Green