Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott


November 16, 2010

Dear Friend,

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Ott Family Cemetery.  It was heartwarming to walk the rows of tombstones, each representing the descendents of one of my great grandfather’s children.  I have many wonderful memories of the people who are buried there.


It was an interesting moment to come to the end of the row of my own family and to realize as the oldest in my generation in terms of birth order that I am the next scheduled arrival!


So I found myself thinking about the three generations before me that I knew and the two that have come after me.  My father only lived a few years longer than I am now due to cancer and because his days were cut short it makes me think more consciously about the days remaining for me – be they few or many.


Each of us may know, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me” Psalm 138:8a* and the Apostle Paul speaks of finishing the race.


So I ask questions like,


Lord, what of that purpose that I may know am I yet to fulfill?

                How do you want me to run the rest of my race?

                                What do you want accomplished – or left alone?

                                                Who do you want me to spend time with?


 Frankly, these kinds of questions are just as valid for you as for me.  They are in no way morbid or fatalistic or negative.  They are both realistic and faithful.


Unless the Lord returns soon we will all physically die and indeed our Lord does have a purpose for each of us.  Agnes Sanford once spoke of “sealed orders,” our Lord’s unique and special intent for every one of his people.


So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” Psalm 90:12*


With joy - E. Stanley Ott

Copyright 2010 E. Stanley Ott     

*Scripture from the NRSV*