Here’s a cheery thought. The Globe and Mail reports that “some” doctors are urging Canadians to make their end-of-life preparations now, rather than leave those decisions to loved ones later.
I’ll spare you.
I mean, the sentiment is nothing you won’t see on those two-minute late-night commercials with some Trusted Spokesperson pitching us $20/month life insurance. It’s really common sense*, since we never know when the Big Sir is going to call our number.
The thing is, in today’s world of fear-driven media, a piece of no-brainer advice like that gets put into the context of the fear du jour, resulting in a completely different spin on the story.
So how about some uplift today?
Yesterday, I told you about a prayer request from my friend, Jen, in Haiti. I got to thinking about that afterwards, and realized it was the latest link in a remarkable chain of events going back over 40 years.
In 1979, I covered the Mann Cup lacrosse finals at Cyclone Taylor Arena in Vancouver for a small sports magazine. In the press box, I met a chap named Chris, who was pursuing his passion: scorekeeping, managing statistics and writing about lacrosse or amateur hockey. We hit it off, although we were never close buddies, and over the years we would collide at sports events.
In late 2003, having moved to Surrey from Victoria, I took on a paper route to help make ends meet. On the second or third morning, waiting at the distribution site for the packages to arrive, who do I run into, but Chris? We exchange phone numbers, and a couple of months later, he calls me. “The (UBC) Thunderbirds need an announcer for women’s hockey. They’ll pay. Are you interested?”
The words, “they’ll pay” got my attention.
Chris was the scorekeeper; another fellow operated the clock and scoreboard. As well as announce goals and penalties, I got to open and close the penalty box gate.
Late that spring, the head of athletic events called to see if I’d be interested in doing basketball games, too. That started a twelve-season run as UBC’s main sports announcer.
In those first few seasons, I worked for — and alongside — Jen. We stayed in touch over the years, and now, here she is, in Haiti, the founder of Bonne Terre Haiti, growing food to feed people — particularly those at an orphanage. As I said yesterday, she included me in an email list, asking for prayers for her adopted country.
All this is to point out the strange and wonderful string of events that started with my getting that press pass into the 1979 Mann Cup. Sometimes, it’s worth rewinding the events in your life to see how the connections work. Sometimes, the start seems insignificant. Sometimes, it could be a “bad scene”.
Consider the genealogy that led to the birth of Jesus Christ. If you have half an hour to call your own, have a listen to this sermon, I go into intricate detail about the number of “bad scenes” along the way — relationships that violated God’s law and births that really shouldn’t have happened. One of the takeaways is that we can’t judge a situation because we don’t know what God is working towards.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.— Romans 8:28
All things work together. There’s my favorite word in the Bible — “all” (and its similar forms, like “any” and “every” and “whosoever”). So whether it’s a big win or a tremendous piece of good news, it’s worthwhile to look back at all the events that led up to it and see how many “bad” things happened that made it possible.
In the same way, consider a bad scene now, like a lost job or a broken relationship or — yes — forced isolation because of COVID-19, and trust that this is something that will lead to something good. The trick is to keep saying, “God, You are in control, and I trust that all things will work together for good!”
Of course, that’s not to tell Him, but to remind yourself; because we need to hear that — especially with “some” doctors telling us to Get Ready.
Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!— Psalm 46:10
*Why is it called “common sense” when hardly anyone seems to have it?