The sanctuary filled up quickly, not a seat to spare. True to its name, the overflow area also soon spilled over into halls and side rooms. Over 500 people from across the country responded to an invitation on less than three days notice. They came to honor someone who wasn’t even in attendance.
That was three years ago, February 4, 2012… just a few days after my dad journeyed from a mountainside near Salt Lake City to the gates of Heaven. His memorial service has played over in my mind many times since then — reflections of the godly impact he made on this world during his lifetime. I recall the long line of folks who waited over an hour to share a few words with me afterwards. Many of them I had never met, but each had a significant story of how “Dr Dave” had influenced their life in some way.
Interestingly, even though my father was recognized as an up-front figure and delivered sermons in churches around the world, he lived his life with the mindset of a supporting player. He didn’t seek the personal spotlight, or only accept speaking engagements at large, popular conferences. The position of Head Pastor at a mega-church was never a dream of his; in fact, quite the opposite.
After 30 years teaching at a small Bible college, he spent his “retirement” preaching and leading weekly Bible studies, adult Sunday School classes, and men’s growth groups. Many more hours were devoted to writing and recording new material for the GCM website, and discipling young men in the faith. Even at 74 years old, my dad never had any other plans. There was no strategy to serve the Lord up to a certain age and then “take it easy” for the rest of his years.
Considering all that, I often wonder why God chose to take my dad home to Heaven while he was still highly productive in so many ministries. But then again, in doing so, He allowed my father to achieve his lifelong goal: to stay active and busy in the work of the Lord right up to the very end of his time on earth. What an amazing example for us as Christians.
Colossians 1:10 – “… that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”
– Ron Reid