I use that language in a specific way of “lost” in a specific sense. We, of course, haven’t actually “lost” them, as if we don’t know where they are. Both of them are with Jesus without a shadow of doubt. But their being with Jesus is a “loss” for us because we love and miss them.
And as I think about them both I’ve come to realize something important that they both lived out. Both my grandma, and Krista’s grandfather lived in a way that was unique. They both realized that family isn’t something you are born into, family is something you build.
Think about that for a moment, because it’s true, but it’s something we forget.
Families aren’t born, but built.
And both my grandma and Krista’s grandfather got this. They invested in their families, they welcomed new people into the family, and toiled at building a family that lasts and matters. And as I look upon their legacy, I’m reminded that they have a legacy because they built into their families. They didn’t just talk about love, or take family for granted, they invested in it, fostered in it, and created it. And I think this matters.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about my own life in relation to this. Am I building my family, or taking it for granted? Am I investing in my relationships, or coasting? Because building a family takes effort, it takes time, and it will last beyond a life-time if you do it well.
There are many things that push and pull for our attention: deadlines, obligations, and expectations. But what I’ve been reminded of these past few weeks is that what really matters is building family and friendships. Deadlines, work, and obligations will come and go, but family and friendships can last for lifetimes if we build them well.
So my challenge to all of you is simple: build family and friendships well. Because as grandpa always said, “listen to the wisdom of those older”. And some of the wisdom I’ve learned from both my grandma, and Krista’s grandpa is that family is built, not something you are just born into.