I’m spending the day at the Mayberry high school. A senior committed suicide over the weekend and they want local pastors to be available to serve as support.

It reminds me of Sunday’s Easter message. We don’t understand the empty graves of life … of course Jesus tells us certain things are necessary including a cross and an empty grave.

On the Road to Emmaus they were kept from seeing. I wonder if we feel blind as we go through life. We have a church member transitioning into a nursing home and it’s a sad occasion. Another more mature person broke her leg and is unsure of her future, she is also the primary caregiver to her husband. I know a 16 year old who is a baseball stud who just had a serious facial injury that we will keep him from playing at least for awhile. These empty graves let us down.

We walk by faith and not by sight. We let our convictions lead us when we can’t see how things are going to work out. Stuff happens.

You either love and trust Jesus or you don’t and from there things move forward.

I’m not sure what we expect from life but if the destination is the nursing home and even death we better enjoy the journey.

I go to east Texas every year and fly fish with a friend, someone I love a lot. The trip starts with the calendar, then becomes a Walmart shopping list where we buy jerky, crackers, cookies and bottled Dr. Pepper for the day in the boat. Of course you have already internet shopped because you have to have a few new flies (none that will catch fish, but we do what we do) … then it was foue hours in the Jeep with Jesus and satellite radio while Google Maps barks orders.

I got to the destination a little early so I popped in the local donut shop and bought one of those twisted things with chocolate on the top. I washed that down with an ice cold Dr. Pepper from the ice chest (I’ve been eating healthy so I had not had a soda for a while or a chocolate twisted thing and wow were they good). My point is all of this was part of the fishing trip, not just the fishing itself. I enjoyed it all — all but maybe the four hour drive back.

I’m not sure if it was me or Jesus, but one of us was tired (grumpy), and so the trip back was not as much fun as the trip going, but still …

I’m bummed out about the death of this young man. I’m glad I have a skillset to offer others, if that make sense. I’m an alum, so these are my people and I love them a lot. I’m looking forward to maybe having lunch on campus with my own senior daughter who was a classmate. I’m going to do my best to eat the meat and spit out the bones of the empty grave today, being faithful knowing that some things are necessary in life.

 

Ken Ansell serves as a pastor in a small central Texas rural community. He is a local missionary and he fly fishes when he can.