Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dying Well

Last weekend we traveled to Huntington Beach to celebrate the life and home-going of our good friend, Dave Carlson. Strangely, I love all memorial services, as the Lord seems to use them to make me reflect on my own life and direction.

This service was unique in my experience, because Dave had designed his own memorial service and even written words to his church, to his kids and grandkids, and to his wife that were read at various points in the service. It was as if he was there. Very powerful.

One of the things that stuck me was the depth of Dave's relationships. He was my father-in-law's best friend for 50 years. They stood in each other's weddings, they founded and taught an ABF in their home church in Arlington Heights, Illinois for nearly 20 years, they were there for one another through the joys and trials of life.

And this was not the only relationship. Dave's life was marked by a commitment to people. He was committed to multiple life long relationships, but also open to new ones. The church that he had attended and served for just 4 years was standing-room only on this busy Sunday afternoon and multiple folks shared of Dave's impact on their lives in this short amount of time.

All this got me thinking about my own life and relationships. Admittedly, I tend to live in the present. If I'm honest, I tend to get so overwhelmed with the sheer number of people and my relationships today, that I jettison and let go of relationships from the past. This can even occur in my family relationships. I'm not proud and even a bit embarrassed about this fact. As I sat in Dave's service, I realized I may one day really regret this pattern. Moving forward, with the Lord's help, I'd like to change it.

So, there you have it. . . a bit of honesty and vulnerability on this Thursday morning.


Jeannett Gibson said...

Dave Carlson? He wasn't a math teacher was he? Pretty common name, but curious...

Pastor Tim Theule said...

Different, Dave. Our Dave was a Marriage and Family Counselor

David Jansson said...

I know what you're talking about, Tim. I just attended my grandmother's memorial service on Sunday night, and I was blown away by how many lives she touched and how she will be remembered. She kept in touch with so many people throughout her life, and every one of them felt uniquely cared about. It was very challenging and made me look hard at how I connect with friends and family and others at church and in the community.