In August 1977, my wife and children joined me on a trip to Kansas City, Missouri, for a short visit with my parents. We enjoyed several days of family togetherness before it was time to leave. As we drove to the airport where we said good-bye, I asked my father to pray for us. I will never forget his words. He closed with this thought:
Shortly thereafter, we hugged and said good-bye, and my family boarded the plane. A week later, my father has suddenly grabbed his chest and told my mother to call the paramedics. He left us on December 4 of that year. Shortly after, my mother joined him in heaven. How quickly life changes! Even today, so many years later, my dad’s final prayer echoes in my mind. And entire philosophy is contained in that simple idea. "Thank You, God, for what we have…which we know we cannot keep." I wish every newlywed couple could capture that incredible concept.
If only we realized how brief our time is on earth, then most of the irritants and frustrations which drive us apart would seem terribly insignificant and petty. We have but one short life to live, yet we contaminate it with bickering and insults and angry words. If we fully comprehend the brevity of life, our greatest desire would be to please God and to serve one another. Instead, the illusions of permanence leads us to scrap and claw for power and demand the best for ourselves.