Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday, March 8th

Lord, thank you: “I am not what I ought to be.
I am not what I want to be.
I am not what I hope to be.
But by your grace, I am not what I was.”
(a paraphrase of a prayer of John Newton’s)

Last Saturday was a funeral for one of my heroes of the faith, Ward Rineman. I had the privilege to speak at it. Preparing for speaking was a good exercise for me because it forced me to put my thoughts together on why he was such a hero to me. I remembered various times that I interacted with him. I remembered him doing what he did so well which was welcoming new people to church. But as I thought about it, the common theme in all of my memories of him was his perseverance. It was the fact that I could count on him to have the same passion, the same love the same care for others, day in and day out. It did not matter whether it was a good day or a bad day, I just knew that if Ward could be there welcoming and reaching out to others then there was no question that he would- even when he was 96 years old. It was no act. It just was who he was through and through.

That is the way I want to be. I don’t feel like I am that way yet but Ward gives me a marker, a target, a hero in the flesh to emulate. I thank God for the privilege of knowing Ward.

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