I attended a memorial today for a friend and brother in Christ. John was man that had lived a hard and sometimes tragic life and in the end his demons caught up with him and he chose to take his own life. There are lesson that I learned from John and even though his life ended tragically the way to honor him is to remember those lessons. John was a Harley riding, ponytail sporting, tattooed biker man. About 3 years ago he had reached rock bottom the demons in his life had gotten the best of him and some how he found his way to our little church. On that Sunday he turned his life over to Christ, and started on a new path.
Lesson one from John was that there was no 80% or 90% it was always 100% with John. When he made a commitment He was all in. This was apparent in every aspect of his life, from his military life, to his family, to his love for God. How often do we go about life just getting by, doing only what is needed to satisfy our own meager needs. John would tell you leave that mediocrity behind and that if you could not give 100% do not bother to give at all. Find that one thing that drives you that one thing that is your passion and give it all you got. Along with that, make sure that your family knows you are there 100%, they deserve all of your heart, they need to know that there is no doubt you love them.
Lesson two is the way John loved people, he did not care who you were, what you believed, how much money you had or did not have. He never was concerned with how you dressed or talked. The color of you skin was transparent to him. On Tuesday nights we have a ministry called feeding friends. John was there every Tuesday just to sit an talk with people, when you were with John you could feel his love and you knew every word you spoke was important to him. John was man that was always there with a hug, I do think he knew what a handshake was. He truly lived a life of unconditional love, a life that many of us could learn from and yet have such a tough time emulating.
Lastly I have learned that we all have our demons, and sometimes those demons can take control of our lives no matter what our faith. We cannot be afraid to reach out to those around us we are never truly alone. This is especially true of men, we tend to internalize things because we suppose be the ones to take care of things. Yet all around us we have those that are more than willing to listen, pray and just be with us, whether it is our wives, siblings or friends. All we have is one another so never fail to love each other and turn to each other.
John is with the Lord now and I know someday I will see him again. The questions that go through my mind as to why this would happen may never be answered in this life and are in all reality not what are important. The important thing is the lessons John left behind, and the life he lived and the love he showed. What I have now are memories and faith in the promises of God and these are enough.