MAY 2023


May is the month we normally associate with graduation. I have fond memories of last year when Madison took part of Graduation Recognition at Bethel and graduated from Evangelical Christian School in Fort Myers. She began attend-ing ECS in K4 and finished her Senior Year in their on-line academy. My mind has a hard time grasping the fact that my children are past their high-school years.

As we think about graduation, we often have feelings of excitement and relief, as we have completed one chapter in life and begin a new one. Keeping this thought in mind, what chapter of life are you nearing completion? Is it single life? Are you getting married soon? Is it child-rearing life? Are your children grown or almost grown? Is it career-life? Are you close to retirement? Or is it …? The reality of life is that it is linear and limited. James said, “You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes (James 4:14).” As we near the completion of each phase of life and begin a new phase, the jarring truthful-ness of James’ words becomes more apparent. Given a normal progression, the next big event in our lives will be ei-ther college graduation or marriage for Clinton and Madison. Then, provided a normal flow of life, grandkids!

I imagine most of you reading this article have either lived a similar flow of life or are living it now. As I transition from one phase of life to the next, I hope and pray that I conducted myself in a manner that pleased the Lord during that phase. I do not claim to be perfect in any phase of life; however, I can honestly say that Tammy and I tried to honor the Lord during our child-rearing phase. Right now, think about your current phase of life. Are you honoring the Lord during this phase? If not, why not? If not, what changes do you need to make to honor Him?

The reality of the natural limits of biology means that each one of us will eventually enter the last phrase of temporal life. Although we may think we have multiple phases left, we could be in the last phase of life currently. Therefore, we should not postpone obedience and faithfulness to a later phase of life. Rather, with great passion and consistency, we should strive to be faithful and obedient to the Lord in whatever phase of life we find ourselves in at this moment. As I depart my final phase of life, my goal is to hear God say, “Well done good and faithful servant!” The only way to ensure that I hear these words is to honor the Lord now and approach my current phase as if it were my last phase of life.

As we enter the summer months, let us not postpone faithfulness and obedience until the Fall. The Fall may never come for some of us. As we enter the summer months, let us strive to honor God in every aspect of our life so that if summer is our final phase, we can know that God will greet us with that wonderful proclamation, “Well done good and faithful servant!”
-Pastor Clint Miller