Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another birthday brings reminders of God's grace

Today's my birthday, and I've received many reminders of it on Facebook.

All of them are welcome, because they remind me of what is really of value in life - family and friends who you love, and who love you back.

Yes, another birthday brings many reminders and, having been born during the Truman administration, I have a lot to remember!

There are many people who have been important in my life, and quite a few of them are gone. Most important of all, my parents, Jase and Vivian Jones, who provided me a home filled with love and examples of Christian faithfulness. They're gone, but memory is a wonderful gift that God has given us, and I have great memories of them.

Another birthday is also a reminder that time is getting short, and there is still a lot I want to get done as long as I'm drawing breath. None of us knows exactly how long we have in this life, but when you're 61 you know you're well past the halfway point.

Most of all, my birthday is a reminder of how blessed I've been - a layperson who at this point in his life has been given ministry opportunities that are beyond what he ever imagined. Most of my adult life has been spent in the corporate world. In my 30s, I was a manager for Mountain Bell telephone. In my 40s and 50s, I was a technical writer and editor for various companies.

But now here I am with the opportunity to spend my days working on the matters about which I'm most passionate. Last year, just before I turned 60, the Texas Baptists Committed Board asked me to lead TBC as associate executive director. Last week, the TBMaston Foundation for Christian Ethics elected me as chair.

I especially thank God for T. B. Maston, whose influence has been a part of my life - whether or not I was aware of it - from the time I was born. After all, my impending birth was the reason that Dr. Maston granted Daddy a month's delay for his oral exams from March 1951 to April.

Daddy said that T. B. Maston and his own Daddy (A. Jase Jones, Sr.) were the two greatest influences in his life, and he passed that Maston influence down to my sister, Patsy, and me.

But back to the opportunities that God has given me. Even before being asked to fill my current roles with Texas Baptists Committed and the TBMaston Foundation, I had already spent the past few years developing content for their Web sites and blogs. Now I've been given the opportunity to do even more. So I get to spend my days working on issues that are at the heart of who I am, and I get to work with people on these Boards - and other people in Baptist life - for whom I have a great respect and affection. Most of all, I learn so much from these wonderful Baptists with whom I work.

That's probably the best thing about the work I do - the people I get to know and work with, such gracious and gifted Baptist ministers and laypersons. As I told the Maston Board last week, I really don't feel worthy to sit at the same table with those folks, knowing the great things many of them have accomplished for the Kingdom. But that's the grace of God, something we don't understand but gratefully accept. (And my friend Weston Ware, the recipient last November of the T. B. Maston Christian Ethics Award, reminded me that, if any of us who serve Christ were to wait until we're "worthy," we would never serve at all.)

So I thank God for another birthday - and all of you for how you bless my life and for how you bless the Kingdom of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment