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Easter brings memory of the pastcomment (0)

May 1, 2003

By Betty Baggott

I write this article from Minnesota. I arrived yesterday to spend Easter with my son Bob, daughter Autumn and my precious grandchildren.

I found myself at Wayzatta Community Church, where my son is pastor. Autumn wanted me to go with her to rehearse for the Easter music. After three hours I found myself still enjoying every minute. I listened and played “memory recall.” Where does the time go? It seemed like only yesterday this now beautiful young woman was the child I called “little glue.” She stuck by me every minute. I always felt in her presence I was surrounded by love. She was special.

It’s hard to explain, but there is within my heart today such a deep feeling of gratitude to God and my beloved late husband, Bob. I have had a good life. True, there have been the emotional treadmills. Some things I would have changed, but through it all I have become a better person. I was married more than 40 years to a man whose love I never doubted and have experienced over and over again God’s love in too many ways to expound on.

It is now Thursday. The grandchildren are at school. Autumn and her husband are at work. Sitting here at my son’s home, the music plays softly in the background. The computer keys hammer out his sermon for Sunday. While visiting my “memories,” I laugh at the fact that I thought we would never get him out of Samford University. As a young mother I would become so stressed out at times, over little things. At this moment in time I am so proud of him and have learned a lot from his life — about determination, truth and balancing life to the fullest. I have sat here for more than an hour, and this is one of those “treasured times.” You don’t have to talk to each other, just being in the same room is enough.

What would happen if we could see our lives from “heaven’s view?” I do believe that family, relationships with others and a relationship with God helps us sort out even more the priorities of life. When we look at life through God’s eyes, our lives have more meaning. Things take on eternal meaning. Living in the light of eternity.

Capturing the moment

I believe life is all about not missing the opportunity of the moment. How I wish I had centered on this more in the early years of my life.

This time of reflection and calm will end all too quickly as I return home. But, you know, it is the closest to us — the incredible challenge of loving them more deeply than ever before — that motivates one not to focus on the dark sides of life. It is to ponder anew that there is a purpose to life and the answers to life are found in knowing the One who created us. We can know this feeling anywhere we are. That is what the Easter message is all about.

Some of you may look at life differently, but we all experience some of the same things. We live in a world that is self-indulged and complicated. Worry can consume us, standing firmly on the word of God, that is what makes the difference. Knowing that God loves us and will never let go of us.

I have just returned from the sunrise service at 6 a.m. Wayzatta Lake was so beautiful in the background. We all braved the elements to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We sang together “Amazing Grace.” There was no denomination. I like that.

Now it is Monday, and I am on the plane headed home. Reflecting back on my son’s sermon at the 10:45 a.m. service I remember his illustration of a bunny. “Once there was a little bunny, who wanted to run away. So he said to his mother, ‘I am running away.’ ‘If you run away,’ said his mother, ‘I will run after you, for you are my little bunny.’ ... ‘If you run after me,’ said the little bunny, ‘I will become a bird and fly away,’ said the little bunny. ‘If you become a bird and fly away from me,’ said the little bunny’s mother. ‘Then I will be a tree that you can come home to.’

“God’s children ran away, so God became a burning bush, a pillar of cloud, a plume of fire, a still small voice and finally, ultimately, God became a Galilean carpenter who was crucified.

“And still God’s children ran. But nothing keeps God from pursuing us, and so Christ rose from the grave, breaking the chains of death and set loose in this world a spirit to live within us and among us.”

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