Today’s Word from Trinity member, Ron Roesler…

Life is a constant flow of transitions and lessons… When born, we know very little. At eighteen, most of us knew everything. At least I believed I did. Then, it takes a lifetime to learn and realize how little I/we truly knew.

During our growth years, whether admitted or not, we are all on a quest for knowledge and greater understanding of life, living, and the meaning of it all. Who will I be? What will I be? How do I fit in?

We joined this lifelong journey of interactions and constant learning. We encounter parents, siblings, relatives, school teachers, ministers, friends, professors, life partners, children, work peers, leaders, and more.

These interactions culminate in who you and I are today. We all experience the joys and, excuse the expression, blunders of life. And today, we are the culmination of this ongoing deluge of opportunities, challenges, choices, joys, and bruises.

The first angels in most of our lives are our family of origin, our parents, relatives, and close friends. During our early years, our family is our anchor and primary source of love, guidance, safety and understanding of life.

My parents, in the 1940s and ’50s, having experienced the Great Depression and WWII, were frugal and practical survivalists. Aside from anger, they were most often unemotional. They were good people and good parents who did their very best to raise four happy children.

It wasn’t until after they had passed away, and I had matured enough, that I realized just how much they truly loved me. They loved us the very best they knew how. I have forgiven myself for seeing them mostly as disciplinarians and not recognizing the depth of their love.

While I didn’t realize it then, they were truly angels in my early life.

Angels are always there, even if not recognized at the time; most of us have experienced dozens of teachers, preachers, professors, and mentors. Along the way, some of these interactions stand out as memorable, or even extraordinary.

Devoting the majority of my life in the Lutheran church, I have grown to understand and have a firm belief in our Divine Father God who created all there is. As such, all angels are part of that creation whether they are heavenly or earthly angels.

We have each had the good fortune to be in the presence of some truly unique people… earthly angels in our lives!

Several of these earthly angels had an extraordinary impact on me and most likely you as well. Today they are most likely not aware of the impact they had on us, and yet, we are a few of perhaps thousands who received their dedication, caring, love, and wisdom.

I was not the best student and experienced school teachers who stuck to the nuts and bolts without sharing their humanity. However, I am grateful for all the teachers who did, especially those who looked beyond my indifferent behavior, to share their gifts. I learned many life lessons beyond the basics! Thank you for caring enough to make me a better person!

Who were the earthly angels in your life? They deserve your conscious appreciation wherever they, and you, are today.

For the most part, these early connections and interactions are healthy and constructive. Misguided or caustic interactions are still learning experiences… perhaps of what not to do or who not to be?

Whether consciously or not, and at any age, most of us want to be even better and want a better life… the opportunity is to be happy and even thrive. In that context, we begin to align ourselves with people who are potential opportunities for greater learning and understanding. Potential angels!

This morning, in that half-awake state, I pondered the beauty in my life and realized that I am here today, after 80 plus years, because of the many angels who showed up to guide me along the way. Especially my wife Helene.

It is with a great sense of gratitude for God and, over the years for my many church families, for this awesome life! And, for the many angels who have shared their light with me along the way.

Each of us is who we are today because of the angels in our growth years. The opportunity now is to recognize and acknowledge your past and current angels. It is truly a great time to think about and thank them for their part in who we are today!

Finally, you and I, as members and friends of Trinity Lutheran Church, have the opportunity and calling to be angels for those we connect with each and every day… consciously making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Ron Roesler