I thought about that younger man occasionally, probably like an older brother might look at his younger sibling and wondered how he was doing and if he might have tempered his ways. Oh, I didn't worry about his success in the working world for that would surely come, but I worried about his inner being. Did he really understand that this world is just a training ground where we are supposed to gain wisdom and really understand what our purpose was for living this life? I would soon find out.
One Friday evening, I was watching television as I awaited my wife's return from her then night shift duties when my cell phone rang. I didn't realize that I still had that friend of mine still on my phone call listing, but when I picked up the phone, his name appeared. I smiled as I spoke telling him I was glad to hear from him. I was, however, somewhat surprised by his opening comments.
Right from the start he said, "I've been reading your blogs, Jim, what's all this religious stuff about? Come on, Man, why are you wasting your time on that God stuff?"
I must admit I was somewhat ruffled, but I merely said, "It's what I believe and I know that you, too, were raised in the church, so why does it concern you?"
He told me that he didn't think there was anything after this life, that he would live on his children. When I asked him if he thought it would mean a black void, he said he didn't know but it didn't matter, because he would feel nothing. It would be over.
We didn't talk long and that was the last time we spoke. I have seen his name on Facebook on a few occasions, once even wishing me well on my birthday. But I must admit, I do from time to time include him in my prayers as I hope he realizes the joy that I have in my heart as I contemplate life in the Kingdom above. And maybe, just maybe, he still on occasion might read my blog and I hope that he might do so today. And what I want comes in this closing, words that most of us know and will certainly recognize. I hope each of you will read these words for they tell us everything we need to know. Maybe he will come to that realization as well. Sometimes it just comes in our later life but I hope a sudden unexpected demise doesn't keep that from being possible for him, for we never know what might happen quickly. The answer is here in the words of Joseph Scriven when he wrote them in 1855.
What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden, Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge— Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends, despise forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Thou wilt find a solace there.
Take it to the Lord in prayer, folks, and you will get your answer. I can't prove it to you and I'm no genius, but it will. And the only way you can find out for yourself is to open yourself to Him and do it. Have a blessed day, everyone.