Who made up the saying “Time flies when you are having fun”? I’ve heard that saying all my life. Didn’t they know that time flies. Period. It seems like the older I get the faster time goes by. I know it has really gone by this week. It was last Friday night when Julia passed away. We were all around her bed praying. Someday, I’ll write about that night, but this is not the day. Still one week has gone by, one more week in my life. I used to take it for granted that there would be more. Time truly does fly by. But as reflect on this past week, I want to think about all my friends and family. Without them, this week would have been much harder to deal with. Tonight I ventured out on my first outing without Julia. I did it with 6 of my closest friends. They set this up on Monday after Julia’s celebration service. They had it planned well. Dinner and a movie, well really a movie and then dinner. They enticed me with the movie Avatar, and an Italian dinner. I knew that they would not take no for an answer, and that I needed to get out. They know me very well, and I know that they have my best interest at heart. So I listen to them, and hear what they have to say whether I agree of not. So I went to the movie. It was great. Very prophetic, I really need to see it again soon. We had fun, laughed a lot. I found my mind going back to Julia, especially during dinner. It’s funny how your mind goes through the little things. I noticed it was a table for 7, and my mind said it should have been 8. Things like that constantly come back. But the good news is that it was fun. We had a good time, and most of the time I wasn’t thinking about Julia.
Friends are important. We all have a few. We need more. Many Christians try to live their life as a believer in isolation. I know because I did that for years. It’s wrong. The Christian life is best in community. It’s in community that we learn to share with each other, to reach out to each other. It’s in community where we learn to use spiritual gifts. The best place to develop community is in small groups. Our church has small groups. These groups are places where we get to know each other. Places where we learn to pray and minister to each other. If you are not in a small group, you are missing one of the best parts of Christian life. I thank God for my small group. We had our first meeting of the New Year last night. I wanted to go, but I felt like the Holy Spirit wanted me to stay home. I’m glad I did. They needed a time to share about Julia, to honor her and love her. My being there might have cut that off. They might have been quiet in deference to my feelings. I’m glad they got to go ahead. I’ll be back next week. Julia and I have been involved in small groups for over 25 years and I’m not stopping now. They are life to me. Many of my best memories come out of small group meetings
Before I close tonight, as this first week comes to an end, I want to thank all of my family and friends for all the support. Your love and prayers have kept me and Jennifer and Lisa going this week. You have been great, great to pray, to bring meals, to call, just to be there. You have been “Jesus with skin on” to us this week. I love you all.