Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Tale that is Told

Today I sat through the funeral of a sweet Mama, grandmother, and friend. Though I didn't know her personally, I have known her daughters, son, and grandchildren for a long time. Words of kindness described her. The funeral home was packed out, which is a true testament to her spirit.

One verse that was quoted in the service really caught my attention. In fact, just yesterday, as I was doing my devotion, I thought, "That verse would make a good blog." I'm not sure I can do it justice, but the verse I'm referring to is Psalm 90:9-10: "...we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."

"A tale to be told... and we fly away." Pastor Gary talked today about chapters of life. A tale, a story of our lives. What would your chapters be? Birth? Childhood... school, play, friendships made, enemies made? Struggles in life... some serious, some not so serious, but all of them put together to make you who you are. Weddings? Funerals? What would your chapters be titled? Would your story be a story worth reading?

I shake my head as I think this. I've always believed that I've been run of the mill. Normal. Average. Boring. Born to two parents who worked to give me and my siblings things that we needed, and dragged us to church so that when we were old enough we would drag our own kids to church. Those same parents live it out, though. Their stories, and their parents, tell of faith. Of loving their neighbors. Of turning the other cheek. Of helping others out in need. Their stories, woven into mine, before mine even came into existence. A type of prequel that totally affects how my story is going to turn out. And my story, which will affect Caleb's. This huge anthology of our stories, each one interconnected. Some days suspenseful- will the hero/heroine make it through the day with his/her sanity? Some days sad- heartbreaks, tears cried, lessons learned. Some days joyful, making the reader want to clap their hands. But always one constant... God, coming through, the author and finisher of our faith, the One who knows the plans and the story before it was even written.

I've been accused of believing in fairy tales. One of Wallace's favorite sayings to me is, "Life is not a fairy tale." He's not your typical Prince Charming, either... but he'll do. And I do have a Prince Charming, who will come into my story at the end and make it an eternal one. And I'll fly away, to be forever in Heaven, a true fairybook ending.

My job is to make my story readable now. Today. Every day. Even on days when I feel yucky or when I'm grouchy or when I just feel like being bad (please tell me I'm not the only one who feels like this sometimes...)

The Message translation for this section says, "We live for seventy years or so (with luck we might make it to eighty), And what do we have to show for it? Trouble. Toil and trouble and a marker in the graveyard." This world is full of trouble, yes. And if Jesus doesn't return, eventually I'll be just a marker in a graveyard. But hopefully I'll have something else to show for it. A loving son. Grandchildren?? A generation of nurses that I've taught to care. People who I've smiled at and talked to that maybe I'll never know how much they needed just that little encouragement. People who remember me, but above all came to see Christ THROUGH me. I think that Mrs. Tincher had more to show for her 80 years on earth than just a marker. That should be our goal, too... to have a story that is worth reading... and one that is worth retelling for generations to come.

Tincher family, I'm praying for you. Love you all!!!

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