From the Parsonage...
From the Parsonage...
Last week, I lost a dear friend that I hadn’t
seen for some time, although he and his family were
a huge part of my growing up years. They moved
into a house right next door when I was about 13
years old, and it was indeed a memorable day for all
of us. His wife was pregnant with their third little
girl at the time and, unexpectedly, went into labor
during the move. The result was that he left the two
older girls with us while he rushed her to the hospital to deliver. Quite an interesting way to meet the new neighbors! And that was just the beginning.
Ralph and Darlene were younger (and, in my eyes, much cooler) than my parents. For the next several years, I probably spent as much time at their house as I did at mine. I not only babysat their little girls, I took them everywhere with me. I loved spending time with Darlene, and she became my confidante in everything from teenage angst to boyfriends. As for Ralph, he was the epitome of the perfect husband and father, young, handsome, athletic, funny, and loving. He set a standard that other men would have a hard time living up to! During those years, I thought I knew just about everything about them, including Ralph’s stint in the Navy, his work, their courtship, their married life, and, of course, their girls (final count four precious little ones)!
Imagine my surprise when I read Ralph’s obituary and found out that during his “stint” in the Navy, he worked flight crew duty for the Top Guns of the day at Patuxent River Navel Air Field in Maryland. He also served overseas in Egypt for two years and was then reassigned to Patuxent River Navel Base as a flight engineer. While there, he attended Test Pilot Training School with Gus Grissom and Alan Shepard, all under the instruction of Major John Glenn! Who knew Ralph had lived in an exotic foreign country or that he was personally acquainted with astronauts from the Apollo Space Missions? What a fountain of information he might have been!
This made me realize how easily we can adopt certain ideas about people and miss other important facets of their lives. If we can do that with people we see every day, how much easier is it to do with Jesus, someone we’ve never met but rely on by faith? Are we concentrating on the areas of His life that are obvious and missing out on those we have to search for?
Take a few minutes to think about what the name Jesus means to you. Are you stuck on the Baby in the manger or the Christ on the cross? If so, what about the Man in the middle? There can be a lot of significance and many questions surrounding the events that happened between. The more we study the scriptures, the more questions are answered, and the more knowledge we have found…knowledge that can enrich our lives.
I can’t help wondering about all the things I could have learned from my friend, Ralph, if I had only known the questions to ask years ago. Fortunately, the life of Jesus is set down before us in the Bible. All we have to do is open the Book and search it out for ourselves. What a fountain of information it can be!
“Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it...”