I remember seeing man take his first steps on the moon. Although it was exciting, I never had a desire to walk there. I've seen mountain climbers scale tremendous mountains. I admire their skill. But I have no desire to walk there. I've seen pictures and television scenes of beautiful golf courses. But I don't golf. There's no desire within me to walk there, either.
But yesterday...yesterday, my fellow pastor and brother in the Lord, Dick Stagner, went to heaven. He now walks where I long to walk. While I have only stood outside the windows of heaven and seen glimpses from God's Word, Dick is in the house. He is there.
I have a reservation there, but he has a room.
I've spent some time reading comments about Dick's impact on people's lives on his facebook wall. Lives he's touched. Eternity's that have been changed through the sharing of his faith in Christ. Pastors, youth pastors, ministers of every kind who call him their mentor.
The rewards of a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be measured on the same scales as those of politicians, philanthropists, educators, famous actors and athletes, or any other.
Their reward is earthly fame, recognition, and prestige. People look at them and say, "I want to be like them."
Not so for the pastor. Our rewards are deeper. They are eternal. Dick doesn't want anyone to say, "I want to be like him." His smile increases when people he has touched say, "I want to be like Jesus."
We weren't ready for Dick to leave here. Or maybe we were. I can only find joy in my heart knowing that God was ready for that dear pastor to come home...and that dear pastor was ready to go home and see his Father.
Well done, my brother...