I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
It was Labor Day Weekend of 1983 when I first pulled into this driveway with Jim. I had flown up from Atlanta to spend the weekend with Jim and to see where he grew up. As soon as we pulled up into the driveway, the door flew open with his mom and dad running out to greet us. This particular weekend was only the beginning of many years of experiencing a home with doors that were open to all. A home that was full of laughter and love.
This past week Jim and I walked through this home and the yard one more time. The rooms that were once full of furniture are now empty. Jim’s dad passed away earlier this year and his mom has moved to a condo. The house is in the process of being sold. As we walked into each room, tears filled our eyes. In the kitchen, we recalled the aromas of many meals Jim’s mom had prepared not only for the family but for friends and strangers who soon became dear friends. Throughout the house there were echoes of children playing, people laughing and you sensed the walls were saying: loved was lived out here.
Before leaving, we walked out to the barn and to his dad’s garden spot. Although Jim’s dad did not feel well, he had planted a garden last year. Jim and I reflected on how much we enjoyed the tomatoes his dad had grown and how they tasted even better last year because we knew his dad had to crawl on his hands and knees to pick them for us. All around us we saw nothing but love and the labor of love put into action.
Jim and I slowly got in the truck. As we pulled out of the driveway one last time with tears in our eyes. We took each other’s hand and looked at one another knowing that his dad would want us to press on toward the goal and continue to share this legacy of love and grace with others.
All of us experience the ending of one chapter and the task of beginning a new one. These transitions are not always easy. However, we must know that it is all a part of God’s plan and it is all a part of our journey to our eternal home. May we press toward the goal of Christ Jesus.