Over the past ten days three very special people in my life celebrated their birthdays. Two of them usually get a mention on here and the third is new to this in terms of me saying something. As I had the opportunity to sit back and consider them, I was moved to write something about them as people making a difference in my life.
My sister is no stranger to being mentioned on this blog. Yet as another year passes in her life I still have reason to give God thanks for her. First of all, I applaud her as a mother. When I see how her children respect her and their interactions I am so delighted to see it in action. The love she has for her children is unmistakable and as usual when it comes to my sister, there is much I can learn from her in this aspect of her life.
Ruth is more than that to me, though and I love her because in as much as she has matured, she has not forgotten or neglected the importance of humour in life. She can still crack me up with her dry humour and extended irony and sarcasm. She knows that right balance of taking things seriously, but not overly serious to the point of getting morose.
I am very grateful that my own daughters have a great model of what it is to be female in their mother, but it’s even better to know that they have an Aunt who is also a brilliant example of being resourceful, generous, trustworthy, wise and brilliant. Acknowledging another year of faithfulness in her life is celebrating how blessed I am to have her looking out for me and being a presence for the positive in my life.
I was sharing with a good friend just how important my Dad is to me. He was my first model of manhood. I subsequently had other models presented to me and I followed some of them. In honesty I followed the others because I found my Dad’s model to be lacking. Yet experience only went to show that the other models only highlighted how exemplary my Dad’s model was. In faithfulness, in consistency, in wisdom, in being timely, in humility, in service, in being submissive, in exercising tremendous self-control, in displaying a commitment against all odds and in doing things without looking for praise or attention, I don’t think I came across a better model than him. My brother is a great man, but it would never have happened if it wasn’t for my Dad.
As my Dad gets older there should be something in me that gets concerned about him and his health, etc. Yet for a number of years my Dad has assured me greatly, not out of a sense of invincibility as though nothing will phase him. The assurance I got was very similar to the Apostle Paul talking to saints about living is Christ and dying is gain. That assurance was about knowing that my Dad’s life is hidden in Christ and if there is a legacy he would leave it would be about living for Christ and helping others to do the same.
My Dad won’t necessarily draw plaudits and acclaim from widespread masses, but every time I see a life affected for the better because of my brother, my sister or even me, it is another mark of how well he did as a man, a servant of God and a father.
Here is the odd one out. This time last year I had little idea who this geezer was. I had come across him once or twice, but that was about it. One year later and I have no qualms at all in saying he is one of the dearest people in my life.
What could bring about such a change? Conversation, commitment and a cultivated companionship based on shared interests pivotal in it all being our shared love for Jesus.
Getting to know more about Chola in this past nine months and so has been one of the highlights of the year and my life for a long time. He has given me room to be myself without withdrawing into himself and he has given me access to know him and together sharing life has been a joy. Coming across someone with such a desire to know Jesus more has been a terrific spur to get me on with growing in knowing Him myself. Exchanging our findings about Jesus on His Word has epitomised what it is for iron to sharpen iron.
There is so much that has impressed me so far in Chola in terms of his humble character. Someone hungry to learn and grow in experiencing Jesus applied in all facets of life, he is a great example for folks who just want to get on with following Jesus. It’s an honour of mine to call him brother and friend. My desire is that he will go on and really blossom as he acknowledges what God wants in his life.
Three people making a positive difference in my life and the lives of others. As they grow another year older, may that be something they will always be known for.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden