Lasting value and enduring quality is not only the buzz line of the home builder’s ad I heard the other day. It testimony to what was built into my life 44 years ago and has sustained me in the ebb and flow, highs and lows, triumphs and challenges of my existence since. Let me tell you how this came about.
In the spring of 1974 my friend Ron and I were in an on-going debate about existence and life in general. Ron would mention at times the return to his Christian faith. It irked me when he did and I stated that after all the things we had been involved in together, “this religious thing” would separate us. To the contrary, he boldly stated that it would bring us closer together than anything else would. After some further back and forth, he had had enough. In the mail I got a note from him, it said: “Michael, get off your but and get up here.” Ron, after finding work at a saw mill owned by his second cousin, had been urging me to join him for some time. Included with the note was a one way bus ticket from Vancouver to Crescent Spur, the mill site, along the Fraser River between McBride and Prince George. Two days later I was on my way. Getting off the bus on an early spring afternoon with the sun shining and the snow sparkling like diamonds, I walked down the valley road to the Spur.
Coming across the house owned by Ron’s cousin, Bill, I stepped up to the porch and knocked on the door. It was soon answered by his Bill’s wife, Sylvia. As I introduced myself the smile on her face got larger. “Well Michael!” she said, “We’ve been waiting for you for a long time.” And so it began the next day as I started working in the mill and became a part of the community.
A community anchored in love, fellowship, friendship, care, compassion, discipleship, encouragement, faith, fun, joy and delight. I recognized that the under-girding bedrock aspect of the life of these people, who so lovingly welcomed me into their midst, was their Christian faith and how they daily lived it out. Ron’s bold statement came fully into being as I became united with the community through becoming one with them in their faith. To this day this has been of lasting value and enduring quality.