I Am Third // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

Have you ever noticed that things have a tendency to go downhill?

For instance, the beautiful new couch you bought a few years ago ends up in your garage sale with a $5.00 sticker.

Your favorite pair of sneakers wind up “air conditioned” with toes sticking out the front.

Cars rust, carpets stain, jeans fade, towels fray.

Of course this is no big surprise to any of us. The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that everything ultimately falls apart and disintegrates over time. It’s just a part of life.

That’s why it’s so important to remember the words of Jesus, “Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy.”

Just think — almost all of the things we cherish on this earth will eventually end up in somebody’s garbage heap. With this in mind, we would certainly be better off spending our time and energy on causes that last forever: God and people.

Gale Sayers, former NFL great for the Chicago Bears, wrote a beautiful book several years ago called, I Am Third. It is the moving story of his deep friendship with teammate, Brian Piccolo, who ended up dying of cancer. “The Lord is first,” Sayers stated, “My family and friends are second, and I am third.”

Of course, even these important relationships are subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: All relationships tend to run down unless they are tended properly.

Marriage, for instance, is like a garden. If you just plant (the wedding) and forget it, you’ll end up with a plot of crabgrass and weeds. If, on the other hand, you take the time to nurture the soil, pull the weeds, and care for the garden, you will reap a bountiful harvest.

Whenever folks grouse about their marriage, it’s a sure bet that they haven’t done a very good job tending the love garden. If you don’t wage battles against the marriage weeds, you really don’t have a right to complain when there’s a measly harvest.

Nurturing relationships requires work — more work than many are willing to undertake. Perhaps this is the reason why so many families are falling apart.

What would happen if husbands and wives fought FOR their marriage, instead of fighting against each other? What if families would roll up their sleeves and do the hard work of communicating, caring, listening and serving each other? Imagine the possibilities if everybody would follow Gale Sayer’s simple philosophy, and put themselves third!

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10655 Nyman Ave
Hayward, WI 54843

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