“I had the privilege of knowing him for over 30 years, and never heard him say a harsh or critical word about anyone.” It has been several weeks since I read these words written about the grandfather of a friend(s) who recently passed. Yet I cannot get them out of mind, and I find myself pondering them repeatedly.
I am not so naïve as to believe that in 30 years he never, ever, ever failed in this regard. Of course he did, we have all fallen short. But for a PRIEST to say those words about him – means he had to have many more successes than failures in this regard.
I am so far from being like that. Often I cannot go even an hour, let alone a day without at least thinking a harsh or critical word. To go 30 years? That has never even entered my mind as a possibility.
Yet in that moment when I first read it, I find myself longing for more. “I want people to be able to say the same about me when I pass.” Even more – I want to be like that on the inside too, to not even THINK harsh or critical words.
I do not for one second believe that he became that way by “accident”, or that it just came “naturally”. I know that he fought to become that way. It came from a life time of living out his faith. Through prayer, reading the Word, praising in all circumstances, dying to self – seeking and seeking and seeking more of God.
But these words give me HOPE.
Hope that God can change me.
Hope that that God can take this life of mine and make it what He wants it to be.
Hope that one day that I will be transformed – my mind renewed, my tongue bridled.
His call to me to: “Seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14b)
I press on towards the prize.
My heart sings.