Spiritual Director · February 29, 2016

Family Birthday Gathering

A family birthday gathering took place over the weekend. We do what we always do, which is me driving over an hour one way to the east side of town where I grew up. My two brothers, their families, and my Dad still live over that way. Because I am the “odd man” out and live so far away I am the one to do the driving for such events. We talk together some, chips and dip comes out and then we play Domino’s! I love that goofy game of placing your tiles in a selective way in an attempt to be the one to win. My sister-in-law is the “prompter” because for some reason we get to talking or get distracted and she likes to keep the game moving along. “Your turn, Doug” I hear over and over again!

Pizza gets ordered, the cost divvied up between us and we eat. This time my younger brother had some home movie video clips from back in 2004. Isn’t it odd to watch old video of you or your family? I think it’s weird to see myself anytime but certainly so long ago was different. In the video my son is 5 or so years old (16 today) and he and his cousins are collecting Easter eggs from the yard. There is video of my Mom, who passed in 2014, which was very touching to see. My brother has recorded video of his family for ever and he has quite a collection of tapes from over the years.

I left wishing I had invested more time in making video recordings along the way. I have a few but not as many as my brother does. I would like to watch back over those and see my family in younger years. I play back the tape in my head all the time but it’s not quite the same as having something to watch on your TV. So many great memories I play back in my head but I lament not having video tapes to play and enjoy with the family.

There is an image regarding the spiritual life I once heard about. We are standing with God watching the video tape of our life! I don’t know about you, but that is a tough image to think about. Why do we try and hide things from God anyway? Isn’t our God all knowing? Isn’t God the great producer and director of our lives and knows everything past, present and future? (Oscar nomination, anyone?). Of course, God does and yet God loves us all the more. The video of the past is erased in the gift of Jesus in our lives, and the video of the future has not yet been made. Our job is to anchor ourselves into today, the day God has made (Psalm 118:24). The scene is not set yet for future of our lives. That’s why today is all we have, that’s why it’s called the present…..it’s a gift!

On this Leap Day, let’s give God thanks for creating, producing, and directing our lives, for the joy and great memories of the past, for quirky families, for old home movies, and for the confidence of what comes next. Seems to me I can relax and let go and listen for the Director to say “Action!”

Pr. Doug

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Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.