Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Last Thing Giles Told Me

"Serve The Lord with gladness" Psalm 100:2

Giles was an old bachelor.  He was in his seventies.  And our church in South Carolina hired him as our interim music minister for about a year.

Over time I grew to really appreciate and respect him.  He had a lot of wisdom, and he was willing to think outside the Baptist box at times, which was refreshing.  Sometimes he got on my nerves with his unsolicited advice, but that was ok.  I loved the old guy and was honored to work with him.

His health went downhill.  Giles fell down some steps and wound up in a wheelchair in the local nursing home.  I felt bad for my friend.

Right before we moved to Florida, I went to see him in the nursing home one last time.  There in his room, he listened quietly as I told him I was moving Lara and the kids with me a few hundred miles away.  When I finished my talk, Giles did something.  He struggled and pushed down on the arms of his wheelchair.  Then he stood up, placed a hand on my shoulder, and said this:  "David, I love you.  Go in peace and serve God."

A big lump formed in my throat, and tears filled my eyes.  I couldn't say anything.  I just nodded, smiled, turned around, and left his room.

That was five years ago.  We haven't spoken since.  I don't even know if he is still alive.  But I remember those words so clearly, like they were spoken five minutes ago.

"Serve God."

Along the journey of my life, God continues to teach this Carolina boy that life is not about me.  It's really not.  Instead, life is all about Him.  My time in this big ole world must be about enjoying God's presence, doing God's work, spreading God's word, and magnifying God's name.

"Serve God."

What about you?  What, or who, are you living for?  Can I pull a Giles and give you some unsolicited advice?  Spend your days serving The Lord who loves you more than you can imagine.  In doing this, you'll find a peace, joy, and purpose that you'll never find if your world revolves around yourself.

"Serve God."

I miss that old man.  One day I'll see him again, either down here or up in Heaven.  And when I do, I'll tell him this:  He was right.  Serving God really is what life is all about.

"As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord" Joshua 24:15

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