Living on Different Levels

Part of the complexity of life is that we live on multiple levels all at once.

I am horrified by Trump’s threat not only to America but to democracy itself. The damage he has already done in sowing distrust and disrespect will take years of recovery. . .if it happens at all. He is a very, very serious threat to all that is good in America.

And I am dismayed by the number of books I’ve not read, both new ones and the ones already on my shelves. Ignorance is a terrible enemy against whom we must maintain a lifelong battle. I want to know the truth, understand what I know, and have the wisdom to live a sensible and God-honoring life.

And at a very different level of challenge: I’ve just been diagnosed with the return of a serious cancer. I’m fully aware that one’s chances of surviving a second bout with cancer are much less than the first time around. Yet each day I affirm that this is the day the Lord has made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it. I long ago learned from my friend Ray Anderson that life’s problems are not mine but the Lord’s. My task is not successfully to overcome each challenge on  my own but to remain faithful, loving and God-honoring. I’ve failed often and been forgiven just as often by my loving Father. I trust Him with my days, including an eternity of tomorrows.

Because of God’s grace, I can say with St. Paul that to live is Christ and to die is gain. Living, real living as God has intended for me, means living in harmony with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Dying simply means being drawn all that much closer to him. So, cancer or not, I can’t lose.

What is hardest about facing death is the sense of deserting those I love: my family and my closest friends. Yet just as I entrust myself to the Lord daily, so I entrust them to the Lord daily. It is the Lord who is essential to their happiness and health, not me.

Have you entrusted yourself to him yet? If not, take a baby step or two toward him. Perhaps it will be for you just a simple prayer like, “God, if you’re there, please show yourself to me.” When I prayed that prayer almost 55 years ago, it changed my life and changed my eternity.



About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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2 Responses to Living on Different Levels

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your illness, Mike. Your faith is inspiring. You will be in my thoughts.

    • mthayes42 says:

      Thanks, Donna. Nothing like a challenge to keep us centered on priorities. Words like integrity, honor, compassion, respect, and many more need to return to our leadership circles, where currently we see very little evidence that our leaders even know which values ought to have priority. Capitalism may thrive on competition but democracy — if Washington is the best example — does not.

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