Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Good Life

“(God) has shown you, O man, what is good:  To act with justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

Philosophers ask, “What is the good life and who has it?” When I ponder those questions I think of my good friend, Roy.

Roy was a gentle, quiet man who refused to assert himself, who sought no recognition for himself, who left the care of his life to his Heavenly Father and occupied himself solely with his Father’s will. His was a heavenly perspective. As he often reminded us: “We are but sojourners here.”

For ten years or more Roy and I met each week to pray for one another. His prayers were my weekly benediction.

Roy died last fall. The church was filled for his memorial service, where his friends reminisced for more than two hours over his influence on their lives. Most spoke of his kindness, his selfless giving, his humility and gentle compassion. He was, for many, a visible expression of God’s unconditional love.

After the service, his son, Dan, drove to the assisted –living facility where his father lived out his final days and gathered up his belongings: two pairs of shoes, a few shirts and pants, some socks and few odds and ends—the sum of Roy’s earthly goods. He loaded them into the back of a mini-van and delivered them to a local charity. Roy never had “the good life,” but he was “rich toward God” in good deeds (Luke 12:21).

George MacDonald asks, “Which one is the possessor of heaven and earth: He who has a thousand houses, or he who, with no house to call his own, has ten at which his knock arouses instant jubilation?”

Roy’s was the good life after all.


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