- Christopher McDougall
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running."
- Christopher McDougall
Recently, I had written a post about a good friend of mine dying during heart surgery. It was a tough time for many of us, as he was a close friend and local legend. We recover, because that's what we do. This was mid January.
Last weekend, I had the misfortune of discovering another very close friend had passed away. I awoke on Sunday morning to a desperate and sad call from his wife. Michael was gone, and his family was left devastated. 3 children now fatherless. A wife lost, confused, frustrated and angry and deservedly so. The love of her life was gone, all at the incredibly young age of 31. Gone in an instant.
I've been mourning Michael for a few days, and had shared his loss with a few close friends of mine who also know of him and were shocked at his passing. Yesterday, I was on the phone with a close friend when the other line rang. It was my mother.
About 5 seconds later, I learned that my mother's mother, Grandma Marian Marriott, had passed away.
She had been ill for years, and was in hospice care, very clearly living her last days. When I saw her last, I whispered in her ear that I was okay and prepared for her passing. She smiled that graceful smile I have known for 48 years and teared up, knowing this was inevitable and we'd soon be separated for a time.
One starts to wonder why difficulties spring on us like they do. Why do we need to withstand so much heartache and pain, all in one fell swoop? What's the point?
Now, for me it may be a bit easier, in at least that I am a believer of a higher power.... a believer in God. I am a believer in the Creator and the one who gives us grace and hope. I'm not professing to know more than you, my fine reader. I'm simply stating that my faith in God and His infinite mercies creating a landing pad of sorts... a place where we can feel contented that this life and these losses are temporary.
I choose to believe there IS a better place. A heavenly realm.
It's my hope that reading this today, you will consider that there is a loving God who embraces us as we step into eternity. He isn't the angry, bitter God of the Old Testament, or the one purveyed on so many who don't share certain church philosophies. He's full of Grace. He's Righteous, Holy, Mighty, and He loves his children.... all of us.
Gay, straight, right, wrong, happy, sad, Democratic, Republican....stop claiming God as yours, or against all others who don't attend YOUR church or read Hebrews the way YOU do. None of us "deserve" grace, but we are all entitled to it. Choose Him and receive it.
Lastly, I look forward to seeing Dave, Michael and Grandma again, and I thrill in it. They are not lost forever, and they suffer no more. No more.
These are the personal (and sometimes business) musings of a former know-it-all.