A great spiritual mentor for many of us has fallen asleep in Jesus until His second coming. Jere Patzer is resting in the Mt. Hope Cemetery on the edge of College Place, Washington. So many believers, both young and old, are resting there that my friend Jim Moor, who has a son buried there as well, said “When Jesus comes back that whole hillside is going to explode!”
Jere’s memorial service, like his life, was powerful and inspiring. You can enjoy it online (click here). The tributes by friends and co-workers and the message by Dwight Nelson challenged all of us to be genuine in our walk with Jesus and to put 100% of what we have and are into the things that will last for eternity.
A number of times I let Jere know, while he was still living, specific things I appreciated about him. Dozens of us also left tributes online after his death as well (Click here to read and/or comment).
But the best time to express appreciation to those who are our mentors is always when they are still living, because “the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing.” Ecclesiastes 9:5.
We all can think of that teacher, Pathfinder leader, pastor, friend of the family, youth leader or colleague who has greatly enriched our lives- the experiences we shared, the stories they told, their wonder and excitement about life, their deep commitment to the Lord and eternal values.
A few years ago I was impressed to write a note of appreciation to a retired conference president I had worked with who had inspired me. I mentioned a few specific things he had said and done that had provided an encouraging road map for me as a young pastor. A few weeks later I receive a wonderful note of affirmation that made my day. By thanking him for inspiring me he inspired me again! Truly “he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25.
Why not take a little time today to jot a note or make a phone call to someone who has greatly impacted your life and let them know how much you appreciate them?