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As Long As I Live

By Mike Mccauley on
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Aug 31 in Musings
The Psalmist wrote “I will call on Him as long as I live (116:2).”  Most of us would probably read, sing or agree with this thought without a second glance. “I will call on Him as long as I live.”

This sentence kept popping up this week. If you stop and think, it is a promise not unlike a wedding vow, to follow the Lord through thick and thin, in good times and in bad. Right now, it is easy to find plenty of both in our world. Catastrophic flooding in Asia. Disastrous rains in Texas. Racial tension and extremism in our country.  Terrorism and war around the globe. Sometimes it all makes us want to simply disappear- live smaller lives, interact with a tiny cadre of people and insulate ourselves from the world.  But...I will call on Him as long as I live. 

This month I’ve spent many hours in person and on the phone with mentors, friends and family who are feeling the effects of growing older. Medical issues, mobility challenges, uncertainty about living arrangements, end of life questions, loss of friendships...these things dominate our conversations. At the same time, we reminisce and share rich stories that trace God’s hand through the decades of life.  I will call on Him as long as I live.  

I’ve also spent time on the other end of the spectrum. On August 19, I married Ivy Beech and Dean LaBarba in a beautiful outdoor wedding in Santa Barbara. Ivy grew up in the Hollywood Presbyterian family, and is now a member of Actors Co-op. Last Sunday, we baptized Blake Russell, another FPCH young adult and current member of our worship band.  Tuesday, Anne and I took the two young children of friends out for pizza, and delighted in the unabashed questions and curiosity about virtually everything they observed.  A number of people in our faith community are pregnant and having children.  It’s a difficult world to be growing up in. What will root these young lives?   I will call on Him as long as I live.

In these days of turbulence, many revel in challenging God. “What have you done for me lately?” is a frequent query.  Feelings often rule the day, and commitments last only as long as the next emotional outburst. But the call of Jesus on our lives is not temporary nor based on our circumstances. It’s not “I’ll try this for a while and see if it works.” It’s far more difficult than that. “Leave everything and follow me,” Jesus says. We give ourselves to Christ for a lifetime, not a moment. We need longevity, endurance, stamina - as Eugene Peterson says, “a long obedience in the same direction.”  I will call on Him as long as I live.  It’s just one verse, but it speaks volumes.
See you soon,
            Pastor Dan

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