I visited my good friend Joey this past week. His church offices are in a converted house, on a large lot surrounded by woods. During a leadership meeting Joey noticed a deer out the window. He asked to be excused and walked up to his office – a converted bedroom. He picked up his bow and arrow. Walked out onto the balcony. Drew back a stringed arrow and twang… Joey had taken down his first deer, a buck.
I know. Right now you are pondering how some churches have a pastor who kills wild game during meetings and your pastor… well… your pastor… writes clever blogs? (I hope…)
While just a few weeks ago Joey got his deer, he is very sick with cancer. As I sat in his office he spoke of an urgency to live. Something we should all have and yet it often takes moments – a job loss, a death, cancer – to motivate us beyond complacency. An urgency to forget what others might think and take action.
Cancer or not, Joey probably would have always gone for his bow during a meeting. But one thing has changed in our meetings. With every moment he reminds me how proud he is of me. He speaks of his love for me. Things I always knew, but… and as I left Joey’s, another meeting was about to start. One of the church leaders caught me to talk about Joey. We discussed his health decline, but also how, through this, Joey has found deep empathy. “He is a better pastor now than ever before cancer.”
Urgency. It lets us live life. Some need to take up the bow, others need to speak from the heart. You may have something else to do entirely. But let us not be complacent – let us not wait until the crisis.