David Hegg | Living for the Challenge

David Hegg
David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident. "Ethically Speaking" runs Saturdays in The Signal.
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By David Hegg

Earlier this week I was asked if writing a weekly column is becoming a chore. It went like this. “Do you ever get tired of facing a deadline every week? Do you think there will come a time when you’ll get so tired of it that you’ll stop doing it? And don’t you think it’s just one more thing you have to do in your already busy life?”

It got me thinking, and here’s what I’ve come up with. While the possibility exists that someday writing this column may get old, even tiresome, I can’t see myself getting tired of writing a weekly column. And while I’m not compensated monetarily for my work, don’t for a minute think there isn’t a great personal reward in doing so. 

I enjoy the challenge, and I also enjoy hearing from some who read my thoughts and are spurred on by their own thinking. I appreciate those who thoughtfully disagree with my perspective and, thereby, help me keep learning. And I have to admit it’s fun to tell my granddaughters that Papa is a columnist, even though it has yet to impress them even a little. 

And as for the weekly obligation being just another thing that puts pressure on my time and energy, the fact is, that’s what makes life exciting. In a way, isn’t life best when we’re being challenged to get better, to do more, and to be as useful to others as we can be? Let me explain. 

Of all the great questions in life, one of the biggest is this: Why am I here? We all either answer this one or spend our lives ducking it. But either way, the question pre-supposes that life is to be lived fully. We only have so many years, days, hours, and minutes. And while our years may appear to last a long time, in reality, our lifespan amounts to the width of a hair lying across a yardstick when compared to time and eternity.  

Like some of you, I’ve been forced to acknowledge the reality of retirement, especially the need to lay up the finances we will need. I was fortunate to have a father who taught me the value of investing, especially the power of compounding interest. He trained me to start early and keep at it, to build up enough to live on after my full-time working days come to an end. But, according to the most recent statistics, many in my generation and those coming behind us are living and spending as if retirement days are a long way off. They are seemingly blind to the reality that our days, years, and even decades pass so quickly. But at some point, we must realize that in the race against time, we’ll all end up losing.  

In Psalm 103, the Bible characterizes life as a vapor that is here and gone and as grass that flourishes one day and withers the next. The point is simply that we should never take our time — the days allotted to our life span — for granted. Even better, we would do well to squeeze every ounce of benefit out of the days we are given. 

For me, this means trying to influence as many people, with as much truth, as I can. I make no bones about it. I’m here to influence you in the ways you think and live, whether you agree with me or not. I’m here to make you ponder, analyze your life, examine your core values, and see if they are a worthy foundation for your time on this Earth. 

In short, I’m here to promote an ethic built on the belief that God exists and has accommodated and revealed himself to us in a way we can both understand and put to work. This ethical system has proven valuable for many down through history, as it has for me. As long as right and wrong are recognized and appreciated in this country, I hope to be here pleading with you in my writing and also through the witness of my life to test the validity of your worldview and choose to view every day as an opportunity to do right by God and your neighbors. 

And who could ever get tired of that?  

Local resident David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church. “Ethically Speaking” appears Sundays. 

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