No one remembers much of what was done previously in history; few will even remember from the perspective of time what will be done. Fifty years from now who will remember who you were and what you did in life? Live your life for eternity while considering this perspective.  Ecclesiastes 1:11 OGV

I recently read the following about the stages of life:

  1. Try To Be Important
  2. Become Important
  3. Do Something Important

Living life, trying to be important, even if you succeed, is vanity. The author of Ecclesiastes said it best, “Vanity of vanities,” says the preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

I’ve had two great mentors in my life – John Wilson and Dr. Lewis Foster.

John Wilson is the longest-tenured pastor in our community. Some say, “Great job, Pastor Grant,” upon hearing that I was the Senior Pastor of Fellowship for 49 years. But John Wilson was the pastor at the church he served for 65 years.

Yes, a great man for my mentor.

I remember the day in which one of his great goals came to fruition. After spending decades preaching in an un-airconditioned building, his church had constructed a new home with a 1,000-seat sanctuary.

On the dedication morning, it was hot, and everyone praised Jesus for the air conditioning!

Today, that building sits empty, almost derelict. So much for one of Pastor John’s great accomplishments. This week I am teaching a Zoom conference with pastors from all over Belarus. I will impact a nation in one hour. I wouldn’t be “impacting” without John Wilson’s gracious guidance in my early years of ministry.

Most everything is vanity.

Lewis Foster was my Greek and New Testament professor. He was Harvard and Yale-educated, a world-class Greek scholar, and became my friend. The friendship was at his initiative, as he heard the story of the “long-haired hippie” who had become a Christian and was now attending the Bible college where he taught.

Very soon after meeting me, he invited me to lunch at a place called Skyline Chili. After that lunch and conversation, I had two new life-long addictions – Skyline Chili and Greek.

In 2019, I visited my former Bible college/seminary. The school was bankrupt, and the entire campus was for sale. Dr. Foster spent 40 years teaching at this school.

So much for what we consider to be “glory.”

I’m still preaching, and at the beginning of this Interruption, there was an OGV (Old Guy Version) of Ecclesiastes 1:11. Hopefully, with the exception of my OGV, which would cause Dr. Foster to cringe, I am an example of the thousands of students that he impacted in his career.

I believe it true, the three stages of life:

  1. Try To Be Important
  2. Become Important
  3. Do Something Important

Last week, I was talking to a Christian leader in my community. I mentioned John Wilson, and this leader didn’t recognize the name. While visiting my former seminary in 2019, I talked to the bank representative who was charged with selling the campus. I mentioned the name Dr. Lewis Foster, and the bank guy didn’t know the name.

I guarantee I will always remember John Wilson and Dr. Lewis Foster. Two of the first people that I want to see in heaven. I hope I am an example of something important that they did while on earth.

Secretly (perhaps heresy), I also hope Skyline Chili is served at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.