Pages

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ready or not, This Is Your Life!



I am going to date myself...

Remember the TV show, This Is Your Life? 

"Each week, an unsuspecting celebrity would be lured by some ruse to a location near the studio. The celebrity would then be surprised with the news that that they are to be the featured guest. Next, the celebrity was escorted into the studio, and one by one, people who were significant in the guest's life would be brought out to offer anecdotes." IMDB review

I was pretty young and impressionable when I watched that show...pigtails and plaid jumper, black patent leather Mary Jane's and white lace socks...sitting in front of a black-and-white TV on an avocado sofa.

Saturday morning cartoons, Lawrence Welk, My Three Sons, The Dick Van Dyke show...

I grew up on a veritable smorgasbord of what are now TV classics.

And I loved them all...still do.

But I have to wonder now how impressionable I was then...

For instance, in one Brady Bunch Show there was a contest to see who could keep the cleanest house...a judge would stop by unexpectedly to rate their home, and if they had the cleanest house, voila! they would win...new appliances I think. You can only imagine how that played out!

I was so naive, that for many years I thought this would happen to our family also...one day, someone would knock on our door and, with checklist in hand, determine whether our house was worthy of a prize.

I wanted a prize so badly that I worked hard at keeping our house spotless.

You got it...no one ever came...but we did have a clean house.

Silly, I know. Childlike...

But back to the series, "This is Your Life"...


I loved it...the surprise, the joy, the tears, the gifts at the end.

It made me happy and, like my crazy Brady Bunch ideal, I thought it was going to happen to me.

Someday.

In the meantime, I grew up...

Still carrying the ideas that if I worked hard enough, I would win the prize...

And that at the end of my life, I'd get a big party with lots of praise and recognition.

Like you, my life hasn't always played out the way I thought it would.

Most of my childhood hopes and dreams have not come about...

And I have been forced to grow and change through lessons learned the hard way.

But at the same time, other hopes and dreams were born...

Marriage to a man who truly has loved me for better or worse, and who is now so much a part of me that when he dies, I feel I will too...

Children, and now grandchildren, who have taught me more about God than I could ever learn from a library of books...unconditional love...joy...perseverance...prayer...

Faith that came through the fire, but has become the foundation for my life and the hope for my future...

Friends. Family. My church community. All undeserved blessings of mercy.

But every day of my life, I think...

What if?

Suppose my marriage had failed, and I was now living in the pain of abandonment or divorce?

Or that I had never been able to have children...or had lost children...or had children that had abandoned me?

Or that I was now living alone...or sick...or in fear?

Or was experiencing the pain of believing that I had sinned or failed beyond hope?

All possibilities...

All realities for many people, every day.

Maybe even you.

And this is where I want to remind you, dear one...

That this life...

This crazy, mixed-up, upside-down, sin-filled world we live in...

Is not all there is...

That someday, as His Redeemed, we will stand before the only One Who can give our lives meaning and make them worth living...

And hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

And all around us, those who have gone on before us will be cheering and high-fiving us...

And sharing stories and anecdotes of our lives...

And we will finally receive the prize we have longed for...

And, unlike the Brady Bunch, one we never had to work for...

An eternity with a God who loves us and Who delights in bringing us joy and blessings...

Healing and Hope.

And not because of what we have done...

But because of what He has done.

We know that.

But while we are waiting, we must press on...anticipating that which is yet to come.

My childhood dream of someday being on This is Your Life will come true...

Just not in the way I had imagined.

In the meantime, I am called to see through His eyes...

Bring words of hope and healing and Heaven...

Encouragement...

To myself. And you. And those who have lost their way...

And those who have never found The Way to begin with.

And this, dear friends, is your calling, also.

Let us be found faithful.























photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20654194@N07/4959560394">"This Is Your Life" BBC TV 1950s Russ Conway (Terry Stanford)</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>