This week has been such a great blessing in my life. I have had the privilege to welcome my first grandchild into this world. Indiana William Kirchenbauer entered into this world on June 28th, 2011. What a wonderful blessing and I am so thankful for my daughter Crystal and her husband Clay for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful experience. I am one proud grandfather.
The other experience this week was that on the 29th I turned 50 years old. Baby “Indy” was quite a birthday present I might add. I cannot think of a better present than the opportunity to hold my grandson on my birthday.
As I held him in my arms, I was reminded of the story in the Bible of Simeon. Simeon was an old man in the Temple. He had been given a promise from God that he would not see death until he would hold the baby Jesus in his arms. He looked each day for this baby and each day seemed to pass without fulfilling this promise. But he remained faithful and trusted God that this promise would come true. Then the day arrived, he held the baby and with tears in his eyes he says, “Now I can die in peace,” he continued, “for my eyes have seen Your salvation, 0 Lord.” Simeon now had fulfilled the promise that was given him. He did not die right away, but he knew that the salvation of the world was just held in his arms. He was able to move on to the next and final stage in his life. I can only imagine what joy he experienced when he finally held that baby and fulfilled God’s promise. I felt that same joy when I held my grandson. I now can move onto the next stage of my life. My children are now all out of high school. They are moving on with their lives. Now it’s time for me to move on…move on into the next stage of my life.
I’m fascinated as I read the Bible. I’m fascinated as I watch the narrative unfold in its stories. Often, as I read, as I watch the story develop, it’s clear that God has stepped off the stage. I watch as God steps back to let the characters of the story make decisions, take action and live out their lives. And, at times God seems to be nowhere in sight. Then, when all the choices are made, God comes back on stage to commentary the deeds of the story we have been reading.
I think God often does that in my life. Seldom does He call from heaven to tell me, “Stop that! What are you doing? What are you thinking?” In fact He’s never done that for me! Instead, I have His word and from His word and the work of His Spirit in my life, I live out my play, stage by stage, act by act.
There are times when I know God is there, on stage with me, but at other times He seems to step back….He allows me to stand or fall, to make decisions and then He returns and He challenges me about the choices I made through His Word. Sometimes He confirms that I made the right decision…and at times shows me where I went off track.
There are stages in each of our lives. Stages and times when we put on masks and pretend to be someone we aren’t. Pretend to do the right thing when we don’t. The world watches as we act out our little play, but then God comes on stage and we talk about the fraud I have been. The lie I have tried to hide. The deeds I have done.
Each of us lives out our own little play. Each of us experiences a time when God has left the building and we are left alone to our own choices, but soon, when the curtain opens for the next act, God steps on stage and the truth comes out. How can we think that our masks hide anything? Everyone else is wearing a mask, everyone knows we wear one too. Why not surprise the audience and be who you really are, be honest and trust God for the results? I know a few people who are taking off the masks and living their lives for all to see. How wonderful it would be to hear God say, as He comes on the next stage of your life and the curtain rises for the final act and says, “Well done…”
That is my prayer as I now move on into this next stage of my life. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.