Actor Michael J. Fox’s latest book is called A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned. (All new books out today seem to have titles that long.) The cover photograph is of an upside down skateboard and the feet of someone flat on his back lying just outside the picture. It’s an image gleaned from the first “Back to the Future” movie. Michael J. Fox’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease at the height of his career changed his dreams of the future forever. His book reminds us that our plans and dreams for ourselves can be instantly changed forever either by accident, circumstances, choices, illness or neglect; that we must step up and engage in living fully today; and that happiness is a personal choice of our own making. One person’s suffering can be another person’s challenge to live. Are you prepared to live a different dream, a different future?
This all reminded me of the old sermon illustration called “Ten Lessons from Noah:”
1: Don’t miss the boat.
2: Remember that we are all in the same boat!
3: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
4: Stay fit, then when you’re older you can do something really big.
5: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
6: Build your future on high ground.
7: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
8: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails and the cheetahs were both on board.
9: When you’re stressed, float awhile.
10: Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs who were committed and willing to learn; the Titanic by professionals who thought they already knew it all. (Unknown Author)
The challenge for us is to really live with, through and because of the One who suffers with, through and because of us.
Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Don’t miss the boat! And let’s experience the love and power of God together.