Strict//EN" ""> EAGLES' REST: A Poem Worth Remembering

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Poem Worth Remembering

Only one life;
'Twill soon be past
Only what's done
For Christ will last

In the summer of 1970, Peg and I went on a Missionary Trip ... a Witnessing Crusade ... to Haiti. It was our first such trip, the first time for Peg to give a public testimony, and our first time speaking through an interpreter. 

Needless to say, it was quite an experience.

The trip was sponsored by Men For Missions International, the laymen's voice of the Oriental Missionary Society (now OMS ... One Mission Society). 

While in Haiti, at the missionary compound at Vaudreil, our leader was Dave Graffenberger, who told us the little poem shown above. It had impacted the lives of some OMS missionaries, and had been important to him. And I've never forgotten it.

That's been 49 years ago, and I've always remembered it, although its reality, and its importance, have recently boomed loud in my own life.

I started my Insurance career as a mailboy for an insurance company, in April, 1958, subsequently retiring in February of 2008. And, during that time, I accomplished quite a bit:

  • Career progress: I went from mailboy to accounting clerk; then to underwriter trainee; subsequently underwriter on large commercial properties in Indianapolis; to underwriting supervisor for an insurance company; to Insurance Agent; to Agency Manager for 3 offices in central Indiana; to VP of Marketing for a nationwide Agency network, to Surplus Lines Broker here in Pelham, from which I retired.
  • Via personal friendships made in Indiana, I saved a multi-million-dollar program for my employer here in Pelham.
  • As a result of attending a Convention in Connecticut, I suggested a new form of insurance for Jewelers, to my boss, who ironed out the details with our insurers, and activated the new program 30 days later. It gave us an inherent advantage over our competitors.
  • In 1966, the insurer I worked for decided to buy a computer, and let employees take a test to determine who would become DP Manager for the company. I scored highest of 400+ employees, and in one of my wiser (yeh right) decisions, decided to stay in the insurance business.
  • Got the highest score in the nation on a Professional Exam in 1965, out of 2,000+ examinees.  Which won me a trip to Chicago (from Indianapolis) and a Savings Bond.

There's more ... expectedly so in a career of nearly half a century. But there is an overriding point in reciting all this:
  • The insurers I worked for? All are out of business. Gone. Defunct.
  • The "multi-million-dollar program"? Long gone, swallowed up by the Insurance Company that bought out my employer, and subsequently went bankrupt.
  • The new form of insurance? Gone, along with all the others we marketed.
  • The insurer that offered me the DP Manager's position? Out of business, long ago.
  • The Certificate and the U.S. Savings Bond I won all those years ago? History now.
So these days, what does my mind wander to when I'm trying to fall asleep? HINT: It has nothing to do with the things cited above, or with my career at all (and I'd have a LOT to mull over, having given speeches and done seminars all over the country). It's what's happened to me as I served the Lord!

Plus: Many of the things I did in my career, and even in church work, I can no longer do. I could not, for example, fly to 3 cities in 3 days and put on day-long seminars, formerly a routine activity. Nor could I go on a church mission trip and help dig and pour a new sidewalk at a church in Atmore, Alabama. Or install windows in a small church in another country.

But reflecting on the young lady who was saved in a living room one evening, when I scrapped the FAITH dissertation and just talked to her ... or the 6 ladies who prayed to be saved, in Nassau ... or the 6 young felons who prayed to be saved in that prison in Plainfield, IN ..... or maybe the Baggage Handler in the airport in Nassau, who also prayed.

You get the picture.

I must also note that I did precisely NONE of those things, myself. It was God Who gave ALL that "increase", as He said He would do, in 1 Corinthians 3:6.

 The only regret in all those years? That I didn't do more.

And, the poem above? It is as true as true can be. I have actually, at age 80, BTDT.....


At 6:49 PM, January 26, 2019, Anonymous Lee Saunders said...

Hopefully you'll still be there, doing that at 90! And I hope I will be as active in the Lord's work at 80 as you. I have a ways to go, just having turned 61.

At 7:17 PM, January 26, 2019, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks for the kind words, Lee. I'm sure you'll be around, doing what God will use, for as long as you want to be.


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