Friday, March 13, 2015

101 Years YOUNG

Here is an article I wrote for our local paper.  I hope it is a blessing to you.  

 "What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." (James 4:14).
I am feeling very reflective about life and the shortness of it, as I write this article.  I keep wondering "when did the years become just hours in length?"   At one time, it seemed, that when someone told you something would take years to do, it would be a LONG time to wait for it to be finished. Maybe years is a long time to wait for something.  Yet when I think of how this week we are mourning the life of Otto Schroeder, a 101 year old man from "LeROY" (as he would say) you would think he passed early!
I only got to know Otto when he was 98 and for the past three years he has become my friend, and I loved him, with SO many others that love him also.

Looking at Otto's life and 101 years he lived, it seemed like just a blink, just a few "hours" really.  His life left us all wanting and wishing he could have been with us much longer.  I know the farm that he worked on will miss him dearly this spring.  In fact, he worked hard this past fall bringing in the harvest by driving the tractor.  Amazing!  With the news of other people in our community that have also passed on, people that are so important to us, we again discover life is short. 

This coming week, my baby girl is turning 18 years old.  WHAT?   When did 18 year pass since I held her for the first time? I told her when she was three that she was not "allowed" to turn four. she did not listen then and I expect she will not listen this week as she becomes and "adult" (Happy Birthday JilliAnn!).  

As I asked, when did the years become just hours in length?  "A mist" is what St. James calls our life. That is a good description.  Pastor John Piper writes in his book called Life As A Vapor "Living knowing that your life is a vapor is different than just living. Things here are passing away. You've got to hold on to what will stand. Savor what matters. Life Is Short.Eternity Is Long. Live Like It. You will exist forever. You and God are both in the universe to stay-either as friends on His terms, or enemies on yours-which it will be is proven in this life. And this life is a vapor. Two seconds, and we will be gone."

My purpose of this article is remind us all that today matters.  You will not get it back.  So live well with God and with mankind.  For what you do today and what you choose will have great impact in all the tomorrows that you may or may not have.  Do not be unwise to think that you have YEARS to live so it does not matter what you do, say, act or think.  Life is short and your spirit will live forever.   

St Paul writes to the church in Ephesus "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17.  Mr. Otto Schroeder did that.  He left us all wanting more time with him.  God wants to remind you to live your life knowing that YEARS are really just like HOURS in length.  Live them humbly before God and man.  To quote the great leader Moses "Seventy years are given us! And some may even live to eighty. But even the best of these years are often empty and filled with pain; soon they disappear, and we are gone.
So teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should." (Psalms 90:10,12).  Yes. teach us Lord.  

Dedicated to the memory of Otto Reinhard Schroeder

September 30, 1913 – March 8, 2015