The blonde (aka my wife) and I take a short walk around the block most evenings after we have dinner. Last week we walked by a neighbor’s house that died not too long ago. I miss my friend, and I think of him often, his death was sudden and unexpected. They say the secret to life is to think often about death.

I called a young pastor the other day who went to school with our oldest daughter. He reminded me of a time that we were driving down the road in the blonde’s silver Volvo 960 wagon. He and a friend were in junior high at the time and they were throwing tennis balls at passing cars. He threw one at the Volvo and said I pursued them all the way back to their house. This young preacher told me I gave them a little bit less than heaven if you know what I mean (what I had to share smelled more like smoke and came from the pit of Hell). My wife loved that car, and I guess I was standing up for her honor. I had completely forgotten about the incident but he confessed that I was in the right in everything I said and did — but still when I die like my old neighbor friend, I don’t want to be the guy known for chasing down thirteen-year-old boys and making them feel like, well, thirteen-year-old boys.

Do you remember the story in John 6? Jesus is trying to go on vacation but the crowds wouldn’t leave him alone. He thought He had found a secluded spot to rest but He looked up and 5,000 hungry men were coming towards him along with their wives and children. These people needed dinner and so Jesus put His plans on hold in order to do what Jesus does. My point is being Jesus and being like Jesus (Romans 8:29) is frustrating and hard. People are frustrating and hard — not only that, they throw tennis balls at the car your wife loves. 

Sometimes in life, we need to pump the brakes. My young pastor friend at the time of reprimand was not a Christian. My time would have been better spent sharing the Gospel with him and his mischievous friend. Then I would have been known as the guy who gave them Heaven. Does that make sense? Time is short, what will they remember about you. He told me to tell you that.