Listen to the commentary
It’s time to get your affairs in order.
As I write this, I’m preparing for my sixth admission as an inpatient since January at the City of Hope in Duarte, CA. Those stays have ranged from two days to a month in duration. This time, it’s Salmonella poisoning: as onerous as that sounds, compared to the alternative they were testing – Graft vs Host Disease – could have been a potentially lethal battle. I’m blessed with Salmonella.
My affairs have been in order since long before my leukemia diagnosis in late January. If the exercise is coached by lawyers, they’re looking for signed and certified documents like a financial power of attorney, medical power of attorney, health care directive, health care proxy, do not resuscitate order and other crucial indicators of decisions considered and concluded. I’ve got all of that, but, if that’s all I had, my “affairs” would be in an inadequate status given the gravity of what life is supposed to involve for men and women who have been made stewards – by God – of relationships and resources that, together, comprise in no small part the accumulation of impact rendered over a lifetime.
I’ve lived long enough to become the Patriarch of a clan. A family of parents/children with two generations is a family; the addition of third generation constitutes the formation of a clan. For someone who takes it seriously – that God is the owner and that whatever we have and control we oversee at trustees/stewards – getting my affairs in order involves all three generations.
Cheri and I occupy Gen1. Our two daughters and their husbands populate Gen2. Their children – six between them – are the grandchildren of Gen3 who round out our Clan. That’s the collection of beloved people for whom my affairs must be in order.
There are three intentional and critical transfers that I must arrange for all of those precious people in my downline. Here’s what I have to ensure.
First, I must transfer the invaluable (“indespensible”). The gift that cannot be purchased is the one that I work to ensure is transferring: a personal relationship with Jesus – based on His requirements – that will stand the test of Eternity. Our Clan plans to stay tightly connected forever, in Heaven. All of our Gen1, Gen2 and Gen3 are in full agreement about their faith. Check.
Second: I must transfer my values. Values capture the ultimate priorities of life. Debate can rage over what those Values include; it’s for each of us to summarize what we, over a lifetime, have concluded to have imminent importance. The three values that our family embraces as looming above the rest, 1) The Primacy of Calling: each of us is here by God’s arrangement, to play a part in His plans for His Kingdom that are our highest identity. 2) The Perspective of Eternity: the demands of the moment will compete constantly for our attention; living with forever in view is the way of wisdom. 3) The Practice of Stewardship: in a world screaming “mine, mine!” the critical understanding is that nothing is ours and that it is all His. Stewardship takes away my sense of entitlement and control and defers to the interests of Heaven with decisions that are made constantly through the course of the day.
And, third: I must transfer my valuables. Until #1 and #2 are underway, passing resources between generations can be a toxic fool’s mission. Unless Gen2 and Gen 3 have the invaluable and values clearly in hand, I have no way of justifying to God the transfer of His resources to oncoming generations who are unprepared to manage them on His behalf.
As I pack my Go-Bag to head to Duarte, my affairs are in order. I’m at peace. Our Clan is maturing into the understanding of what God has placed before us.
Are your affairs in order?