The Struggle Has Ended

Greg Hewlett passed away on January 17th after nearly eight years of battling colon cancer. While we grieve his loss, we are comforted to know that he is with his Lord.

If you would like to leave your thoughts on Greg, please see this thread.

If you would like to make a charitable donation in Greg's honor, please see this thread.

Monday, January 19, 2004

MLK's apple tree

martin luther king crop.jpgEven if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

On this day of remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr, I am mindful of this quote of his that I have thought of often during my bout with cancer. I do not know the days of my life ahead, but that cannot keep me from continuing work today. To me, this quote wrestles with the notion that all we do is in vain considering none of us (nor the memory of us) will be here in just a few decades from now. Meaning to life must thus be located somewhere other than merely in ourselves or our daily work. My friend, Bob Bagwell, who is in remission from brain cancer told me about his feeling somewhat odd in planting a tree orchard on his farm recently, given what doctors say are his chances of being around to see the trees grown. But he went ahead with the plan. Cancer seems only to accentuate the conviction that I share with Bob - that meaning is only found with the recognition that life is lived Coram Deo, in the presence of God. With this acknowledgment, we can confidently be creative and work today although tomorrow we may die. The Apostle Paul put it this way, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men... It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Col 3:23-24

[Incidentally, there is some controversy as to the origin of this quote. Legend actually has Martin Luther saying this. But there is no written record of the reformer speaking these words. Apparently, the first written evidence of this saying comes from 1944 by a priest named Karl Lotz. In any case, it was MLK Jr who popularized the quote. I was introduced to the quote by my close friend, Rev. Mike Ernst, who told me of it when we first spoke of my cancer.]


Roland Lindh said...

Along the same lines, as a student attending the Tenth Presbyterian Church, when Dr. Donald Gray Barnhouse was Pastor, I once heard him say to the congregation regarding the importance of scripture, "If I knew that I had only three years to live, I would spend the first two in study!"

sue said...

Beautifully written....and felt.

pete pagan said...

Greg --
I yhink if you check, the quote is from Martin Luther, not MLK, but a great thought nonetheless.
Love ya, man.

Carl said...

Truth is a Rock. That is truth.