The pastor met them at the door at the end of the service. “Hi Harold and Jane. It’s really good to see you. I’d love to see you here more often.” Harold and Jane were a bit sheepish at first. With their busy lives, they only made it to services a few times a year. Harold decided to present a defense for their inactivity. “You see, Pastor, our schedules are so hectic that our weekends require we take care of things we never get around to during the week.” Then he paused, “But at least we keep the Ten Commandments.” The pastor congratulated them, “I’m glad to hear that you abide by the Commandments.” With pride in his voice, Harold responded, “Yes, we do. Jane keeps six of them, and I keep the other four.”
I don’t think it works that way, does it? Yes, we are busy people. It is not easy to get everything done on the list. It makes you wonder if perhaps the list is too long or perhaps the items on the list are not nearly as important as we once thought.
Do you remember Mister Rogers? He was once asked to address the National Press Club. As he began his remarks, he pulled a pocket watch out. He told the assembled media members and other guests that he was going to keep two minutes of silence. He urged them to use the time of quiet to remember people from their past who had encouraged them, mentored them, given them opportunities, served as role models, honed their skills, challenged their abilities, even made sacrifices for them.
A lot of the ‘stuff’ of life can be found on the list … things to do, items to check off. Most of the substance of life doesn’t appear on the list. When it’s all said and done, what matters most are the relationships of our lives – the people who have reached us, and the people we have reached.
If you think about it, the Ten Commandments are really about relationships, too. The first part deals with our relationship with God. The second addresses our relationships with each other.
Perhaps it would help if each of us took a few minutes to reflect about the people in our lives who have made a difference for us … and give thanks.