Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Last Day, First Day

Today was quite a day for most of us in the Midwest again. My daughter and I spent three hours yet again in the basement. It was a scary way to start the first day of vacation.

You see today was the last day of school for her and also her official first day of vacation.

As I watched the tornadoes and storms on the television from our basement sanctuary, I realized today was also the last day for the Oprah Show. While silly even to think about it, I did wonder how her show was wrapping up after two star-studded days of Chicago saying goodbye to her. I wondered what last words she would say to her audience to wrap up her 25 years of becoming a media mogul. (Please, realize we were in the basement for several hours.)

After the sirens stopped and the all clear given, and after I once again thanked God for keeping our home and neighbors safe, (not one person was injured in St. Louis today in spite of terrible storms and cloud walls forming with "hooks." Not one hook stayed on the ground! Baseball-sized hail did not injure any drivers or children going home from school! Praise God!)I went on the wonderful internet to see what Oprah had to say.

I wasn't very impressed. I guess I haven't been impressed for some time. Oprah seems to have lost her way somehow. She seems to accept all paths leading to God, much like Rob Bell's latest book. I listened as Oprah provided her own wisdom for the audience "teaching her media classroom" one last time.

Today was also the last chance for words of wisdom for my daughter from her school teachers and principals. I listened during her last chapel service, pleased with what I heard, but it was what I didn't hear that impressed me most.

Her teacher was crying and hugging the kids. She was truly touched as she hugged each child. These were not just misty-eyed tears either. Her eyes were red and swollen from crying. She was going to miss them. My daughter felt that and marveled at how much this teacher cared about her.

That was the best goodbye speech one could ever hear, wasn't it? I mean to know someone loves you and will miss you, that you actually mattered in that life, WOW! what a strong message for a child!

Tonight was another last moment, the finalist for American Idol was announced. My daughter and I curled up on the couch to watch it together. (Yes, we switched channels for the obcene and hedonistic Lady Gaga portrayal of sex. Sad to need attention that much to offend children and families watching, isn't it?)
The ending song was not that great, but I did like the final message by the winner, Scotty, when he said first and foremost, I have to thank the Lord who brought me here. Then he hugged each and every member of his family and each and every member of the cast as he tried to sing the final song. It was a bit awkward because he couldn't sing it very well as he hugged and patted folks on the back, yet I found it a touching and classy last moment.

So, I wonder about Lasts and Firsts. We've had a lot of publicity about the LAST DAY, the RAPTURE coming. We know it didn't happen, of course, since I am writing and you are reading.

-Yet I can't help but wonder about the last moment for our earth, especially as I try to study the book of Revelation. What will be my last moment? Will I be mid-sentence griping about the traffic light, about my daughter not picking up her room, about my diet, about the car, about taxes, about....

Perhaps it is what I don't say that will be most impressive, like my daughter's teacher. My last act I hope is one of compassion and caring.

I don't want to be like Oprah. (Sorry, Oprah fans.) I don't want to think I have the answers and feel the need to leave my words of wisdom to those who may listen. I don't want to have to have people cheering or screaming like American Idol either.

I just want to be able to give a hug and let those around me know they are loved.
--Because that is all I hope to have each day from those I meet.

How about you? What is important to you for your last day which will also your first day? I hope you are giving someone the knowledge that he/she matters and is loved.

For His Glory,

1 comment:

  1. Ok, Gretchen, I had to stop reading your blog tonite when you got to American Idol! We are on West coast you see! (spoiler alert!!!) But now after reading it I'm amazed as always how you nail it! All of Oprahs hoopla and Idol screams will fade from our memories when we gaze into eternity! Its all about loving people as Jesus does and showing that they matter. We are so thankful that you and Scout are safe and pray for a very special summer for your family! God bless and good night!