Monday, October 06, 2008

Anniversaries and Holding Back the Power of Hell

Oct. 5, 1952 my grand parents got married. They were young, hip, well dressed and full of potential. The road laid out before them was as promising as it was uncertain but they forged ahead. They worked hard and stayed faithful. They are still remaining faithful to this very second. Not famous, rarely celebrated and certainly not making a name for themselves in a worldly sense. They raised four children. My grandfather collected a few sales trophies along the way. My grandmother taught school. They made it through all the tough times in a marriage. They endured hardships from the economy, politics, church, children, community and work. Their secret is one timeless and simple way of loving…just not giving up on each other. Never abandon the commitment, no matter what. I am not sure they ever read a book on marriage or went to a conference or took an online course, but I bet they could fill volumes on how to remain faithful. I’ve had the joy of watching them and as much as their love mystifies me, I’m am sure of this…they always placed value on each other. Each put the others interests in front of his/her own. They both contributed 100% of themselves to the relationship. Perfection eluded them like it does all of us, but their legacy is not perfection…it’s finishing well and doing the daily, little things it takes to build what I see as an empire of integrity and love.
Their life makes me reconsider all the choices I make that are motivated by career or money. It forces me to take stock of all that I do and ask what kind of shelf life it will have. Will the works of my hands endure? No. Will the affections of my heart and the way I love my family? Yes.
I just returned from a retreat where the topic was spiritual warfare. A very interesting topic, especially since the speaker did not give us ten ways to slay demons, but rather choose to focus on the little things we do everyday that hold the enemy at bay. Hiding the word of God in our hearts, preaching the gospel to ourselves and others, being faithfully and authentically involved in a church community, observing the ordinances of the church like communion and baptism and embracing joy inside this, often difficult life. All of these define the way my grandparents lived and it’s these little things that add up to a legacy. So, to my grand parents, who in their quiet and courageous way have held back hell for fifty-six years, I say thanks. Thanks for fighting such a faithful fight and doing so with such joy. I love you guys.