My small mind concerns itself with things it has no control of. But there is one thing of grave importance, being a recovering alcoholic, and a follower of Christ is, did I reach out and make contact to another who suffers? Did I even try? Step 12 of AA's 12 steps to sobriety says to "carry the message to those still suffering." When someone I know, enters into recovery but then decides to return to their old way of life, I think..."maybe I should have done this or that, reached a little further, tried even more"....but didn't. When the reality of this comes in to full play in my head is when, like yesterday, another person close to me in life passes away. His death wasn't from drinking, but nonetheless it gives me pause to think, did I do anything to make his life better. God knows.
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all which have the potential to turn a life around." Leo Buscaglia
I am learning that each time I see an aquaintance, a dear friend, family member, or anyone, it may be the last time I see them on this Earth. Reaching out is paramount for a person in recovery, and off-the-chart important for a person who is a follower of Christ. I do not mean to beat people over the head with my personal belief system, trying to convert them, but after living a life before them that reflects my values and actions. Watching how I talk and not gossiping, or belittling anyone for any reason. Being an honest, hard working employee, not cheating the company I work for, and always looking to help another find their way, this is the real stuff of life. Living in a way that pleases God, showing mercy and remaining small, does give those watching a reason to ask you about the hope you have beyond this life. Then you can say why and perhaps their life will never be the same. In your potential last visit, you may be sharing the thing they've looked for life-long.
" precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Psalm 116:15 (NKJV)
I've had it with seeing people's lives be lost to drugs and alcohol. Every time I look into the obituary section of the newspaper, I'm taken back seeing so many young pass away. And to me, anyone under 75 is too young. Anyone in the obits that's under 60, makes me wonder if drugs or alcohol played a part in their death. In that verse above, that word "precious" doesn't mean soft and cuddly. It means "costly." I cost God when people pass, one less to spread the good news, one less to reflect Him in the world. It cost us too. Right now, their is a young man who is hurting badly, his dad is gone! There is a mom and dad, broken from the loss of their son, their only son. There are dear friends in deep distress because their best friend won't be around. A daughter and nieces that may have long term sorrow and regrets. Don't run from God now, but run to Him, He is hurt by this too, and also loved him dearly, but He will still give peace to all who ask. For all of us, think, did I make any difference in his life? Many reading this today won't feel as this family does, everything is well with you now. But still think each time you run into someone, will it be the last? For the Collins family, my condolences, for Jeff...RIP, hope to see you again. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all, Keith.