a better story - haiti, granddad, & beyond

So, we've been back from Haiti for a couple weeks, and most of us are back in our daily routine, living life in the ATX.  I love this place, and as much as I really would love to live in a place like Chicago or the North East, for now, I have no doubt that Austin is MY CITY!  That being said, be it a place like Haiti, Chicago, North East, or Austin, I seem to have one driving thought in my life, "I want to tell a better story with my life..."

While I was in Haiti, as I stated in one of my Haiti blogs, I received word that my Grandfather was dying with cancer...within a few days of hearing the original news, his time frame had shrunk from 3 months to 3 days. Well, this morning, my Grandfather died.  The death of someone you love, really makes you reflect on your own life, your own work, your own journey.  The truth is, at the end of my journey, heck after I'm gone I want to have lived my story in such a way, that my great grandkids say, "hey, tell us the story about grandpa and grandma Hansen, and how they emptied their life for Jesus and others..."  - A Better Story...

My grandfather didn't leave a dime behind him. He didn't leave a physical inheritance, but he left a legacy, that will never end... He was a man who did two things: loved Jesus and his gospel and loved people, and he spent every breath doing that.  I am convinced that his life is the reason I am doing what I am doing today, serving shoulder to shoulder with great men like Brandon Hatmaker, Tray Pruet, Lamar Stockton, John Church, and Austin Evers.

I'm not convinced, that telling a better story with life, means ending everything you are doing to do something brand new - all though it may very well be that for some.  However, I am convinced we begin to tell a better story when we begin to make sure that everything we are doing is for Jesus and his gospel, and people.  It is the only thing that will out live us, it is the only thing that will echo into eternity, in fact, according to Solomon, to spend our lives on anything else is completely and utterly meaningless!

I don't believe it is happen stance that Sarah and I have been wrestling with the question of "a better story"; that Haiti has made the impact it made; that we are friends with other's wrestling with the same question; that I am in love with the people of ANC who are a people committed to a better story; that my friends the Hatmaker's are going through what they are going through - not because of avoiding a Kingdom life, but rather for embracing it deeply; that my grandfather has passed... and that I am getting ready to start studying the book of Ecclesiastes, the book warning us that a better story, is the life lived for eternity, and anything else is simply meaningless... May this time make us all stronger, and at the end of it all, no matter what we do in life, may we, like Paul, and like my Grandfather, be able to say:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for methe crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.