gilett_house_archivesMy father’s family is originally from the Westfield, Massachusetts area.  When I was growing up in Minnesota we would take trips “back east” to visit the family homestead.  I remember running through the rooms of this large rambling home, sliding down a robust stair bannister, and attempting to climb a large beech tree in the front yard.  Last weekend, I had a chance to attend a ceremony at the Westfield Athenaeum that honored donations from my relatives to that institution and to the community in general.  I learned a great deal about my family genealogy, saw portraits of my great, great, great grandparents, and discovered relatives who I didn’t even know existed.

Another important event happened this week in my family’s life – a dear friend who had been actively involved in leading a Young Life ministry for more than 40 years died suddenly on Sunday morning.  As with much of the news nowadays, word of his passing moved quickly through Facebook and soon the pages were filled with tributes to his life.  However, unlike my relatives, his contributions would not have been very visible to a community.  Because of his quiet, sacrificial life, hundreds, if not thousands, of lives were undergirded by faith, given hope and purpose, loved and encouraged, and pointed to an eternal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Both of these types of contributions are important.  However, as I have reflected on the visible and invisible nature of each, I know what I want in the end.  I want the Lord to use me in the lives of individuals.  As I was reading in my Bible this morning in Exodus 33, I came across these words in verse 13 where Moses is speaking to the Lord:  “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so that I may know you…”  Moses’ desire was simply to know the Lord more intimately, but the result of spending time with God was the development of a strong spiritual leader for the Hebrew nation.  My heart resonated with that verse – I am praying that the Lord will teach me His ways so that I may know him more deeply.  I don’t expect that leadership will be the result, but like our dear friend who is now in the presence of the Lord, I hope the result will be the encouragement of faith in all those I encounter.  Have a great week,





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