As people were busy making New Year’s resolutions, my grandma was busy dying. It’s a process, dying that is…sorting out what is real, thinking about what the transition will be like, hoping there will not be suffering. And through my grandma’s “sorting,” she kept finding that what was the most real was Jesus. “He’s real, isn’t He,” she would say to me with confidence and amazement as I sat by her bed. “Yes, Grandma, He’s a real as it gets,” I would reply.
In the busyness of life we rarely stop to think about what is real and where we’re going. Often it takes a New Year or a funeral to help us pause and sort it out. We make resolutions based on our reflections, wanting to improve this or that to fill in the gaps and live a better life. Whether we realize it or not, what we’re really doing is pursuing what is real. We crave meaning and substance in our lives.
I want to tell you a secret. You don’t have to be on your deathbed to find what is real. You just have to have the courage to pursue and live it intentionally while you’re still alive. Here’s where you start: If you resolve to get better at anything, find more meaning, break a habit or start a healthy one, don’t focus on that particular thing so much. Simply get closer to Jesus. He is the foundation of real. If you draw closer to Him, everything else will begin to fall into place. My grandma knew this before she was on her deathbed, but it was beautiful to see it crystallize with matchless clarity when she actually felt Jesus holding her. And in that place, everything else faded away and didn’t really matter.
It is said that if one is so heavenly minded they are no earthly good. I believe that is rubbish. Rather, if you are not heavenly minded then you are no earthly good. Get back to thinking about your destination and “foundation of real” in your life. When you peel back the layers, I think you’ll find Jesus standing where He’s been all along. He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He is everything in between. When you seek Jesus – the foundation of real – everything else you need will come in time as well (Matt. 6:33). This year: Get real.
I write this in tribute to my Grandma, who died on January 1st, 2012 and is now experiencing the ultimate real with Jesus.
Pastor Daniel Teerman
Daniel has been in the ministry for over 26 years, during which he has served as a: Missionary, Educator and Pastor/Church Planter. He is currently a Co-Lead Pastor, along with his friends: Johnny and Ricky, at Christ Community Church in Buena Park, California. Daniel has a passion for encouraging people in their relationship with Jesus by presenting the Word in its cultural context, while bringing fresh insight that is relevant to our lives.
He is the author of: Discipleship Coaching Journal; and, Where Do I Begin? Daniel has been married 27 years to his best friend and ministry partner, Sherry. Their primary ministry is to their 4 children.
Follow Daniel’s ministry at www.wordandculture.com