The rest of your life

Tina Haapala |

Written by Gary Silverman, CFP®

This column isn’t even remotely about money today. But things have been weighing on my heart that I wanted to share with you. Since it’s Christmas time, it gets a little religious so if that’s not your thing you may want to skip to next week.

This article began as a memorial to those killed or wounded in the recent terrorist attacks. I wanted to honor a victim from each. I ran out of room.

Morose does not adequately describe how I was feeling. I had gotten over the shock and horror and was just left numb. I didn’t know what to write, how to feel, what to do. I began praying, looking at verses, searching.

In the process I ran into a sermon delivered by Garrett Swasey.

Swasey was a preaching elder at Hope Chapel in Colorado Springs. He was also the police officer killed when responding to the attack on the Planned Parenthood facility. This fact didn’t exactly lift my mood—but then I took the time to listen to his sermon. The sermon is an exhortation for those of us who remain to be attentive to God.

My thoughts come in part from his observations. (You can listen to it at Click over to their sermon area to find it.)

Christians aren’t who they are because they feel like it or were raised by godly parents or are good people. Rather, they realized that they had the need for a savior and found that fulfilled by Christ. They glorify the Father, trust in the Son, and are filled by the Spirit.

Yet just because a person is a Christian doesn’t exempt them from losing focus. After all, where was my prayer, scripture reading, and searching today prior to my being bummed out by my research? God is there for me in my time of need, but he’s also there when times are good, too.

Do you forget to praise during the good days? I know I do. There are many times that I get to the middle of the day and realize I haven’t thought about Him. The amount of spiritual exercise I do pales in comparison to even the pittance of physical exercise I manage to sneak into the day.  When in prayer, while reading the Bible, or sitting at church I’ve found myself on automatic. That’s why Swasey’s exhortation to his congregation spoke so clearly to me: We need to be more attentive to our God. We need to make sure of our understanding of Him. We need Him closer to the forefront of our consciousness.

We now approach the New Year and the myriad resolutions we might make. Let me suggest a resolution to be attentive to God. Take time to examine the scripture to know who the eternal God is. I hope and pray that the atheist has time to reconsider, the agnostic to explore, the Christian to grow in obedience, the elder to mentor his flock. Be attentive today and every day.

This article was published in the Wichita Falls Times Record News on December 27, 2015.