The risen savior lifts us from despair into new life

Karen Parsh

Yesterday, I walked into the kitchen four times before I remembered I was on a mission to get soda pop. Today, I started to write a thank you note, but couldn't remember who I was supposed to send it to. Last week, I discovered I unwittingly destroyed a pocketful of phone numbers in the washing machine. Those people are still waiting for me to call them back.

Our dear son, Gregory, who once specialized in Alzheimer's research at Western Psyche, gladly informs me that he spent many interesting moments talking to patients who act like me. I like to remind him that I have a lot on my mind - and that nobody is perfect.

But, the painful reality is that there are consequences to the aging process. Bones ache, memory cells lose their razor's edge and slim-trim figures acquire Pooh-Bear dimensions.

Everything is passing. Seasons turn. Stories end. Unavoidable changes require that we either cling to the remnants of what has been or welcome our newly emerging selves with hope and humor.

Before you waste another precious second, consider this: "When we realize the shortness of life, we begin to understand that God offers every moment as a gift." This was written by Dillon Burroughs in his book, "Hunger No More."

The idea of God being the giver of gifts helps you to realize just how blessed you are - each and every day - no matter what age you are.

Just for fun, I invite you to count your blessings over a 24-hour period. Write them all down and use them as a record of God's presence in your life.

For example; today, the dogs let us sleep in an extra half hour. That's one. My breakfast buddy had a few extra jokes to lighten the start of my schedule. That's one. A wise friend called me to tell me that she was praying for me and my ministries. There's another.

You see where I'm going with this? If you note every moment of happiness placed in your life, you'll see that you receive hundreds of gifts throughout your day.

Scriptures are full of passages that lead us to understand just how involved God is in our lives.

Here are some examples:

1. God scheduled the date of your arrival on earth. "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16).

2. God has laid out a track for you to run on. "Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).

3. God will neither abandon nor forsake you. "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you" (Isaiah 41:10).

Yes, life is racing past, but that's all the more reason to not waste a single moment worrying about stuff you can't change and treasuring each moment that is given to you.

Make every day count!

Now, if only I could remember where I left my car keys. Oh well. No worries! Maybe the moment spent searching for what's lost is God's way of telling me to take a breather before I head off to my next adventure.

The Rev. Karen Parsh is pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Knox and Salem Lutheran Church in Lamartine. Readers may write to her at pastorparsh@atlanticbb.net.

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