Calendars, scheduled holidays and observances can diminish a sweet reverence for life by reminding us that each day that passes is the anniversary or observance of some perfectly uninteresting event. Did you know that today (January 16th) is “Appreciate a Dragon Day” and
“National Nothing Day”? (I’m not making this up) Humankind has
become the masters of the mundane; experts in minutia.
But then again, dates can also carry the weight of eternity and significance upon them. On July 12th, 1969, at 4:00 PM I took Nancy Beverly Keller as my bride. I was eighteen, she was twenty-two. That day we began a now 50-year-long journey of doing life together. I wouldn’t want to even imagine a life without her. Even with all the ups and downs, bumps and bruises, it is a date that carries eternal weight, and one I celebrate each day.
The maternity ward nurse handed me a bundle of joy on June 7th, 1970. Our first child, Barbara Ann was born and now a part of the Sabol clan. She was so beautiful, still is. While I was supposed to be her teacher, she has taught me so much about myself and life. In fact, God used her to steer my life to an encounter with Jesus Christ while she was only a four-year-old cutie. Nothing remained the same after that date!
On March 30th, 1973 our second child arrived. Stephen John Junior came into our world and immediately changed our lives. The first thing he taught us is that no two children are alike. He came from the same gene pool, but he had his own way of swimming in it. We quickly fell in love with his ornery uniqueness. I celebrated the day he was born with a steak dinner and drinks courtesy of my brother-in-law. But our lives haven’t been the same since his arrival. It changed everything.
On May 18th, 1975, I accepted Jesus Christ as my
personal Savior. I was a twenty-four-year-old man who had become disenchanted
with the American Dream. I went to church that morning searching for more with
the smell of cigarette smoke and stale beer on me that I had picked up while I
was playing with my rock band The Rainy Days at a club in Trenton, New Jersey
the night before. That moment set and settled my eternal destiny. It changed
everything. It made all things new. Soon thereafter I heard and answered the
call into the ministry. That resulted in a complete vocational turnaround that
had our heads spinning for months. Forty-three years of pastoral ministry
later, I can testify to the faithfulness of God as he has used us to engage
people and shape disciples of Christ. Nothing has brought a greater sense of
significance to our lives than serving God via serving people. A real
I could go on and on. The point I am trying to make is simply this: celebrate and memorialize the significant events and moments in life, those that are really important. When you do, the trivial observances fade away. There will be no “National Nothing Day!”
Job 32:7 (KJV), “Days should speak, and a multitude of years should teach wisdom.”