Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Staying Connected
March 27 – April 2
Scripture Passage: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. “          Ecclesiastes 12:1
Dear Friends,
     Legendary African American baseball pitcher, Satchel Paige is known for many quotes. Two stand out in my mind as I continue to recuperate from my international trip to India. “How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you are?” and “Age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” I am a relatively young man at age 54, but sometimes I feel so old. I have been blessed with good health, a strong body, and the ability to handle a lot of stress and difficult situations. As of late, there have been evident chinks missing or falling out of my armor and it has left me feeling weak and vulnerable. Doctor visits are becoming more frequent, periods of rest between strenuous activities have become necessary, and just the thought of stress stresses me out. I also know why you have children when you are young. The older you get you find it more difficult to take care of yourself, much less anyone else. Dr. Richard Carlson wrote a book entitled, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.   The problem is - nothing seems to be small stuff anymore. Minute task that once required nothing more than a passing thought, suddenly require my undivided attention. To get warm, still, and comfortable sets off a chain of events that find me “passed out” in the recliner or office chair. How embarrassing. As long as I keep going I am fine, but let the activity stop and I hear voices in the distance declare – “He gone.” 
     Most of you have heard that while waiting for our flight from Abu Dhabi to Chicago I blacked out sitting in a chair in the airport lobby. I must admit that I was extremely tired and the fatigue of travel had begun to take its toll. The last thing I remember was reaching inside my backpack to get a tic-tac and coming to in response to the medical staff that had been summoned to take care of me.    It was strange because for the first time in my life, I was totally helpless and at the mercy of others. When I was told I would not be allowed to get on the airplane for twenty-four hours, there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I had no warning something was about to happen and have absolutely no explanation for why I blacked out. There are more questions than answers and I am thankful to be back on American soil where I have the support of my family and friends. I may never know the reason why all this happened or it may be a sign of things to come.  
     I had the opportunity recently to speak with an individual who had retired as a bank president. I was curious about how he spent his time and how much he was enjoying his retirement. He said his perception about retirement had changed drastically. He had looked forward to his retirement but had not taken into account the health issues both he and his wife were experiencing.   He said there had been no way to plan financially or otherwise because of all the unknowns that would influence his decisions. His life had been relegated to day to day decisions concerning health issues and what televisions shows to watch throughout the day. That was not what I wanted to hear. Most elderly people give advice to the younger to stop and smell the roses while they can. The day will come when you will want to but cannot because of all the obstacle that have to be overcome. So while we have the time, money and health, seize the day and enjoy the blessings of God. 
In Christ,
Pastor Johnny