Grandpa was a simple man, to be sure. A man of a bygone era.
We call it the Greatest Generation, but we do not mean it for a second! For not
one of their values do we continue to hold; not one of their morals do we continue
to esteem; not one of their ethics do we continue to regard. Grandpa is a relic
and his memory but a fossil; they are simply reminders of things from long ago
which no longer have any consequence. His life was a vapor, and all the whisps have
vanished. The preacher was dead-on, “All is vanity.”
And yet. And yet I wonder. What if there is something to be
learned from these fossils of life? What if there is meaning in these relics? Besides,
even vapors from the stove can leave behind a wonderful aroma after they are
long gone. As the Bible says, “A good man leaves an inheritance to his grandchildren.”
When I think of the great inheritance I have in the Lord because of Jerry
Osborne, I begin to appreciate who he was.
He was Amos, a simple preacher from the country who faithfully
proclaimed the word of God. He was Nehemiah, a visionary builder who toiled
with the trowel with one hand while he held the sword of the spirit in the
other. He was Jeremiah, a man with many reasons to weep, who was yet spurred on
by the fire of God’s word burning within him. He was Paul, a man who preached
the foolishness of the cross; a man buffeted by Satan’s messengers; a man
forsaken by trusted allies; yet a man who stood firm to the end.
He could teach me about faithfulness, commitment, and
endurance, though perhaps less about patience and serenity, for dear Grandpa could
be a touch restless. But he could teach me how to love my family, how to serve
my church, and how to keep the Lord at the center of everything. He could teach
me how to keep going when I feel like quitting, how to remain true when
compromise wins the day, and how to stay in the fight when it seems the cause is
lost. He could teach me about integrity and loyalty, about grace and sacrifice.
As I remember his life, I wonder what he could teach me. But
these fossils and relics yet speak: What he could teach me, he did. Is there
someone you need to remember, some fossils from your life’s past you need to
learn from? What about those who will come after you? Will they have a relic from
your life to teach them? Live today for Christ, for soon enough your life will
be someone else’s memory…or not.
In : Meditations