Randy Pausch was a 47 year old computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was recognized as a pioneer in virtual reality research and was well-loved by faculty and students alike. His enthusiasm for teaching and passion for learning inspired all who knew him.
Pausch was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer in September 2006, and turned this time of sorrow into an opportunity to change the world. His popular last lecture at the school entitled “The Last Lecture” became an immediate internet sensation with millions of viewers. He talked about his dreams and goals, and what really mattered to him. He finally lost his battle to cancer a few weeks ago.
One of the noteworthy thoughts he communicated had to do with enjoying life. “I don’t know how not to have fun. I’m dying and I’m having fun. And I’m going to keep having fun every day I have left. Because there’ no other way to play it. You have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore. . . never lose the childlike wonder. It’s just too important. It’s what drives us.”
It’s a real joy to be the pastor of this church, especially with so many good things going on. You would expect me to be optimistic, and my desire and expectation is that we would grow in our love for the Lord and one another in the days ahead. I could talk about all ministries and mission efforts that are rooted in this church. It’s important to encourage you to be faithful in your attendance in Bible Study, worship, and Wednesday evening prayer and activities. I could also mention the need for faithful financial giving. There’s a time for that, but for the moment I want to tell all of us to have fun at what we’re doing.
Jennifer Goode and her mother dropped by the office last week to let us have a peek at Gentry. We all stopped what we were doing and staff came from all over the building to congregate in the office to view this new arrival and watch her spit up on Cory. It meant a lot to me to see our staff sharing the joy of a friend and co-worker.
We need to be thankful for each other. Like Pausch, there are those who are struggling dearly with their own troubles but choose not to broadcast them to others or let the hardship dominate their thinking. We don’t know all the challenges fellow members are facing, so it’s important to be kind to one another. I admire Pausch because he chose not to be “an Eeyore” but rather be happy with the time he had left. That’s a good example for us all.
We don’t know when our “last lecture” will occur, as we aren’t promised another day. There are no guarantees in this life, so let’s make a difference for Christ today. I hope you’ll join me in a renewed sense of cooperation and support of the Lord’s work through UHBC.
By the way, our capital campaign kicks off September 7th. I hope to see 100% participation above and beyond our regular support to the budget. There’s a reason it’s called “Mission Possible.” We can do it!