Each of us on the Ambassador team is asked to lead in staff devotions from time-to-time. My turn is next month and I'm preparing a short devotional message on "Perspective" (even as I struggle sometimes to get the right one!)
Today I received a letter from Brad Mattes that really drove the point home about the importance of how we look at our life experiences. In reading his reflections about being awarded an Emmy on the same weekend that his son played a significant role in the life of a grieving family, well, let's just say, he sure helps "put things in perspective."
So, take a few minutes, sit back and enjoy reading, "Good for all the right reasons" . . . and be ready for how your own perspective on the day changes!
Good for all the right reasons . . .
It's been an exciting weekend in more ways than one. First, Ellen, I and others attended an Emmy® Awards ceremony on Saturday night. Our weekly, half-hour TV program, Facing Life Head-On, had three nominations. Competition was particularly stiff this year, but we remained hopeful. We were not disappointed. The Emmy® was awarded in the special programming-military category. We did a two-part episode called A Lifetime Sacrifice, featuring some of our soldiers and their families and the freedoms they fight for. The most critical freedom, of course, is the right to life. The program also showed the preciousness of human life and how devastating it is to lose a loved one or see them critically injured.
It's hard to put into words how it felt to stand on stage before a sold-out audience to accept this distinguished honor from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Thankfully the bright lights only allowed me to see a few of them. It wasn't hard, however, to find the words to honor these brave heroes and their families-to remember their lifetime sacrifice.
Of course the glory goes to God, as well as any other accolades this TV program generates. It's HIS ministry, using HIS resources. Further, this prestigious award is for the entire pro-life movement made up of tens of thousands of individuals who work and sacrifice to gain the right to life for all America's citizens-born and unborn.
Yes, all that glitz and glamour is fun, but it pales in comparison to another experience I had this weekend.
My youngest son, Paul, is 20, going to college in Michigan and working to pay the bills. He attended a Christian boarding high school, and one of his former roommates had been killed in a car accident. I know from experience that when you live together in a school environment, you grow especially close.
Paul was asked to serve as a pallbearer, which he did, and he provided more ministering to this hurting family. He spent time with them, especially the sister of the accident victim. They shared their faith with each other and cried on each other's shoulders. It was a hard time for this family, as well as for my youngest son who learned a profound lesson in life-death happens, so be spiritually prepared.
Paul asked me for additional Bible passages and fatherly advice so that he could further minister to this young woman.
I was thankful these two contrasting events-Emmy and death-came to a crescendo at the same time. It vividly allowed me to carefully weigh the value of each development, and analyze its importance in this world.
A gold Emmy® statue is certainly a great honor. I would have never expected to be in that fortunate position. But the reality is the excitement it generates will ultimately diminish over time, and it will collect dust like any other earthly belonging. On the other hand, Paul was storing up gold in heaven-ministering to people who would probably never forget how the Holy Spirit worked through those around them during their time of heavy grief. And Paul will forever carry in his heart the joyful and deeply fulfilling feeling that comes from ministering to others. It's an excitement that will not diminish with time and it will never collect dust.
During this weekend, I was deeply honored to be Paul's father, to see that he truly understands the importance and blessings of blessing others. During my time as the father of four sons, I've experienced that same joy to observe Dane as he ministers to children as the principal of a Christian elementary school. My heart fills with joy each time Joel, who majored in music, gladly edifies worship in our area churches. And it still brings tears to my eyes when I recall that difficult time Nick bravely served our nation in Iraq.
Yes, I'm truly grateful for the Emmy® Award. It's a joy to be honored as we work to protect the most vulnerable among us-unborn babies. But an impressive gold statue doesn't compare to witnessing the fruit of instilling in my sons the importance of serving others.
Indeed . . . a great perspective on what's important!
Lee Ann Jackson
We Connect. Ministry and Media.