Fixing our eyes on what is ahead, without forgetting how we got here
By John Wright
I have lived in Shelbyville for 22 years, and I knew that my Grandfather was buried somewhere in Forest Hill Cemetery. I heard the story when I was young about how he died of TB when my Dad was 2 years old, but for some reason I was not curious enough to ever look for the place where he was buried. A few weeks ago I was suddenly curious enough to go look for the burial site of William Wright. I went to the cemetery with a rough map of Forest Hill that I got from a genealogy that was prepared by my cousin Kenny. I had no trouble at all finding his marker; I stopped my car right in front of the place and walked straight to it. There it was, William Wright 1876-1922 only a stones throw from where my Children, Leah, Amanda, and Jacob attended elementary school. This experience illustrates the way I have lived so much of my life, too busy to notice all the others whom I should know about and appreciate.
I am reminded of Rom. 14:7 “For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.” It is so true that we are connected by God to each other in amazing and unknowable ways. As Christians we know that our eyes are to be fixed on Jesus, but doesn’t God give us peripheral vision and hindsight? I have been absent in too many family reunions, weddings, births, and funerals. May God help me grow into a neighbor who finds time for others in the way that Jesus patterned in His life.
The Hebrew writer refers to the “great cloud of witnesses” meaning our lives are being observed from the heavens with great interest. No matter how small we see ourselves in the scheme of things, Heaven rejoices when God’s children serve him. There are so many in this Church who had influence on my family by being good and kind to us when we were in need. There were many acts of benevolence provided when I was young, and I am truly thankful. Because we are all so connected, every small act of Christian love are seeds that may sprout in any of the most unlikely places. It’s with one another are we going to get to where the great cloud of witnesses are urging us to go.