Monday, June 16, 2008

What Really Matters

I am sooo not a news or political junkie. I keep up with the basics, but most of the talking heads give me a headache.

I have been following the news regarding the death of Tim Russert, however, for several reasons. Partly because he was so respected in his field. Partly because I appreciated the unabashed love he showed for his dad, Big Russ. Partly because I am always fascinated by the way our society handles the death of a well-known individual and I always yearn to look beyond the public personna to the real personality inside.

And partly because he was 2 days younger than my brother. Wow, that was sobering.

As I watched the Meet the Press tribute online last night, and as I read other tributes throughout the weekend, several things kept coming to mind.

Firstly, this was a man who was arguably at the top of his game professionally. He strove for excellence and was well-respected, and even liked, by those on all points of the political spectrum. Even those individuals who had been in the hot seat as he peppered them with unrelenting questions acknowledged that he was well-prepared and tough but fair. Even his fiercest competitors were his friends. How rare this is in today's society when "good enough" is often deemed to be sufficient and when individuals pursue their agenda, no matter the relational price to be paid.

Secondly, I was touched by the fact that, as much as he loved his job, his colleagues -- without exception -- mentioned his love for his family: his devotion to caring for his dad, his love for his wife, and his love for and pride in his son.

Finally, I pondered one more thing. One that trumps all others. At times like this, I always find myself wondering, "What was the spiritual condition of this person?" LET ME BE CLEAR: I have no way of knowing his eternal destination. I hope and pray that, at some point in his life, he made the decision to place his trust in and follow Christ. Several individuals made references to his schooling under nuns and Jesuit priests. I hope his faith was neither nominal nor perfunctory.

This cartoon was part of a collective cartoon tribute here. Drawn by Bill Schorr, of United Media, I thought this one hit the nail on the head. It's a take-off on the night of the 2000 Presidential election returns when Tim Russert held up a small white board on which he had written "Florida, Florida, Florida" as he predicted that state would be pivotal in determining the election's outcome.

Yes, it all comes down to that. Because when all is said and done -- no matter the degree of brilliance, fame, or wealth we have attained -- there will come a day when, according to Romans 14:11-12:

"'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before Me; every tongue will confess to God.' So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God."

Those earthly accolades and tributes won't be of much use then. Only whether one's name is written in the Book of Life.

Lord, keep me focused on You, and not distracted by the temporal things of life.


View blog reactions


Tiffany said...

I too was captivated by hearing about Tim Russert this weekend. Especially poignant was his Father's Day shout out. How much that must mean to his dad and son Luke!

And you are right -- it all comes down to Jesus and Heaven doesn't it? We are all the same, everyone on a level playing field when we greet death. Doesn't matter if we are rich or famous or who we know.

Karen said...

I've just finished the first week of Randy Alcorn's Heaven study and your words resonate deeply with me. None of the comments or deeds really matter all that much when it gets down to it. What truly does matter is where our ultimate destination is. As Mr. Alcorn puts it, there are only two choices.

Good post.

sara said...

great post. I loved the cartoon and had not seen it. I watched an interview the on the Today show yesterday with his son. I was so impressed with this young man. that at age 21-22, he could speak so eloquently in front of the camera just days after his dads death. He seemed to have a wisdom beyond his years. When asked how they were he said " mom is grieving like a wife and I am grieving like a son, but I know we will get through it".

Leah said...

I found your blog through Bring the Rain...I'm a coffee lover so your name intrigued me. LOVE this post and appreciate your concern for his most important story, his eternal story. I too saw his son on the Today show and was extremely impressed with him. I'll be visiting again!

Xandra said...

How much MORE good would we do with our lives, if we really clung to that belief day in and day out? I mean really put all of our worldly considerations aside and wholeheartedly pursued Christ and spreading the gospel?

I'm with you...politics gives me a headache, but this is such a tragic loss.


Kelly @ Love Well said...

So true.

I met Mr. Russert once, when he did a special Meet the Press from our NBC station in San Diego. Witty, warm, sharp-as-a-tack.

But like you, my first thought when I heard about his passing was, "Wow. One minute, he had it all. The next, none of that mattered."

Lisa writes... said...

You said it well. There is more to this life...

A Stone Gatherer said...

Great post Linda! I've been watching the tributes too! He was very much loved! I too wondered about his spiritual condition! I pray he knew the Lord!

Linda said...

Excellent post, friend. My pastor must've read your post today because he said almost the same thing in a conversation with staff.

Carole said...

Well said, Linda. Thank you for your post.

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

I think you captured what I was trying to say in one of my recent posts about weeding at someone else's house. All that truly matters is how we lived our lives for the Lord.
Thanks for the timely reminder.

Linda Vujnov said...

Amen sister!

Christina said...

So sad his death so soon. I pray he knew Jesus.

The Vest Family said...

To bad the politicians use this as a line and not a belief! our country should remember what we were built on and that God truely blessed us. Think how much better of a life our children would have.

Becoming Me said...

The news of his death did sadden me as well. This was a very well written and thoughtful post Linda!