OPINION | MARK PETERSON: We are here for a season and a reason

Recently our Anatolian Shepherd dog Annie died. She had been a good dog, although sometimes a lot of trouble. Anatolians (originally from Turkey, formerly called Anatolia) are bred to be guard dogs to attack and take out any predators who are after the sheep they are guarding. So Annie saw every other dog of any size as a predator – big trouble! But she was our dog, and we loved her and she loved us.

When we lose someone close to us, even a dog, there is a sense of loss, as a part of us is gone forever. Her death helped me realize that our loved ones are with us only for a season. It might be for a year, or it might be for 80 years, but it is only for a season. Realizing this helps us treasure the times we have with loved ones, as we (and they) are never guaranteed tomorrow.

It is a common story to hear people who are experiencing grief at the loss of a loved one say how much they regret saying something to that person when they saw them last, or how much they would like to tell them how special they are and how much they love them. So DON'T WAIT – speak love and truth into the lives of your loved ones while you still have the opportunity.

I believe that people also come into our lives for a reason. Perhaps they are family members who have fulfilled your need to belong to a family, or a child whom the Lord has entrusted you with. Perhaps they help you with some important work, or perhaps you minister to them in some vital way.

When Jesus came from the Kingdom of God to the Kingdom of Man, He came only for a season – 33 years. And He came for a reason – to bring hope, joy, and salvation to all who would respond through His teaching, His ministry, His death, and His resurrection. He and His followers changed the world, overcoming the fear of death, offering a life of joy and peace regardless of circumstances, and life eternal in heaven.

What about you? Obviously your season is not up yet, but SOME DAY will be your last day on earth. And your reason – do you know why you are here? For Christians, our reason is pretty clear – to share the love, compassion, and truth of Christ to all who come across our path, to the glory of God.

Not realizing we are here for just a season leads to taking life and relationships for granted, while not knowing our reason leads to a life wasted on worldly concerns or a life of purposelessness and despair.

This is the day which our Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

To God be the glory.

Mark Peterson is a retired educator who's worked with people in Southeast Arkansas. He's a member of the vestry at First Lutheran Church at Eighth and Rock streets at Little Rock. The community is invited to join them for worship at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Details:

Editor's note: Pastors, ministers or other writers interested in writing for this section may submit articles for consideration to [email protected]. Please include your phone number and the name and location of your church or ministry. Writers should have a connection to Southeast Arkansas.

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