Sunday, November 12, 2006

Making tough decisions

I'm inspired by the content of my last post, combined with some of the content of Ron Blue's Splitting Heirs.

Blue says we need to "love [our] children equally and, as such, treat them uniquely."

Now, that's tough! (Tougher for some than for others.)

I was talking with my dad a week or so ago and he said he found the idea of even attempting to differentiate among his six children overwhelming. I mean, he knows we are different. He knows I have absolutely no need for any portion of his estate, whereas others of my five brothers and sisters are not so well off. He knows that some of us are quite capable of taking care of ourselves, whereas others . . . aren't.

But trying to figure these things out--or even talking about them with his children--seems "just" too difficult.

Blue offers a scenario. I'm not going to get the details all right. But the general picture is what matters:

Suppose you have three children, Blue suggests.

  • The oldest, a daughter, is married, professes faith in Christ, lives in the "right" neighborhood, goes to the "right" church, wears--and makes sure her husband and children all wear--the "right" clothes. She and her husband are members of all the "right" clubs and organizations. . . .
  • Number two, a son, is married and has children. Their family, members of a "faith" mission in which financial support is spotty, bumps along just above the poverty line. But they are joyful in their service in the inner city. . . .
  • Number three child is also a son. At this time, he shows no inclination to serve Jesus. In fact, he's been to prison on a drugs charge. He has had several unbelievable business opportunities which, somehow, in every case, he has squandered. At this point in his life, he spends most of his time watching TV and playing video games. . . .
Question: Are you going to treat them all the same in your will? You know: being fair and all. . . .

Blue suggests--and I absolutely agree: no, you ought not to treat them all the equally! Love them all equally? Yes. Treat them all equally? No way!

But this is hard work.

I have determined that, God helping me, I will do that hard work in behalf of my children.

Well. And then there is this matter of a living will.

Our attorney, knowing of our Christian commitment, urged Sarita and me to sign some kind of--I'm not sure if it was a DNR/Do Not Resuscitate order, but--some kind of Living Will document that provided for less strenuous efforts than might otherwise be made. "After all," he said, "you know where you are going, and it is a Better Place."

I believe that. I don't believe This World is All There Is. So I have no strong motivation for clinging to this life beyond reason. Yet there is a purpose to life! There is a reason to keep living. At least, to some degree.

My brother, Pete, who was dead and yet is now alive: Pete says that, while he was dead, he [I'm not sure if he has said he met Jesus; but . . . ] . . . he saw that he has a strong hope for a much better/more beautiful "tomorrow"--after death. Yet he is glad he is alive. And I am glad he is alive. He has a reason for living on this earth today. He has things to do, promises to keep.

So how shall I write my living will?

I have some tough decisions ahead of me!
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