I came back home from my Grandpa's funeral, with a lot of thoughts and it has taken some time to process them. Dr. John Bowling president of Olivet Nazarene University gave the eulogy. Dr. Bowling started the eulogy off with a metaphor about the great big red tree's. This metaphor has stayed with me and it is so true of the church and family. So I will do my best to summarize it. Dr. Bowling told about the great red tree's root system. One would think with such mighty tree's that the root's would go deep into the ground and bury themselves with in the rocks of the earth. But not so, the root system of a big red tree is shallow. How do they survive winds and other things that threaten their life as a tree? The great big red's tie into the root systems of other surrounding tree's. The roots lock into each other and depend on one another to survive. If one falls, others around that fallen tree feel the effects. With that Dr. Bowling went on to talk about my Grandpa.
I don't think I heard much after that for a few seconds. My mind immediately raced to my family. My wife, my kids tie into my root system just like I tie into theirs. When I fell, they fell too. When I couldn't survive the temptation of sin, it had a direct affect on them. As I tuned back into the service, I listened to my Grandpa's pastor talk about my Grandpa with his message. The pastor had met with our family a couple of nights before to hear stories and descriptions about my Grandpa. The pastor then took that information and used it. I learned so much about my Grandpa that day. The one thing that truly rang out to me is how he loved his family and this day I was feeling his death in my life.
The funeral was a week ago tomorrow. Every day since that day, my Grandpa has not been far from my mind. I do miss him, but over the years the distance came between us and I wasn't as close as some of the others were to him. Do I regret that? Of course I do. I can't change that now. What I can change and continue to change is how I live my life as a husband, father, and friend. My view about love and how to love has changed since last week. Rather than just loving my wife and kids unconditionally, I need to love those outside of that so called "circle" as well. I wan to love like Jesus loved others. Besides their faults, sins, good or bad, I need to love everyone through Jesus eyes for they are a child of God just like myself.
As I sit here today, I am even more determined to be Jesus to my wife, kids, family, friends, and strangers. I am determined to be unselfish and give my all in everything I do. I want the best for my wife and kids first and foremost. I also want to love all who I come in contact with and leave an ever lasting mark of Jesus on their life much like my Grandpa did in his life for others. I didn't know until the funeral was over that my Grandpa had one last lesson to teach his grandson. That was a lesson of how to be like Jesus...
Grandpa I miss you and even though we weren't close these past few years, I feel the absence of you in my life. I am thankful that you left the heritage and legacy you did. I am so very thankful that you raised my mom with a Godly heritage so that she could give that to me. I will cherish the gift of Jesus that you handed down to your family and all those who you came in contact with. I hope that you are enjoying heaven to it's fullest extent. Heaven became an even a better place when you walked in the gates. We will continue to tie in the roots of the Godly legacy you left for us to follow. We feel your absence, but you are not from us nor as we from you. I look forward to the day that I can see you and all my friends and family who went before in heaven. Until then worship, dance, laugh, eat, and drink in the presence of God. Don't forget to get a few rounds of golf in as well..