7/4/10 Frank ,89
While out on my bike I came upon an elderly gentleman (Frank) who had parked his three-wheeled custom decorated bike and was sitting on a bench. "Happy Fourth of July" I said as I rode up to him and we chatted for a while during the neighborhood fireworks shows that were just beginning. Frank is devoted to his neighborhood, his Italian-American Club, and his Italian/Croatian Catholic church. He lives in the same house he was born in and for all his 89 years (I guessed that he was 70) he is mentally very sharp and a good conversationalist. He wore a big gold cross pinned to his shirt so I asked about it and he was very open to talking about spiritual things. He told me he believes in God as he looked around and marveled at both the natural and man-made creation all around him, but doesn't believe in life after death. "Why would I want anything more after I've lived in heaven here on earth?" he said several times. I told him the Bible teaches us about eternal life but he dismissed it, saying he doesn't read it because the Bible is just a book written by man. Try as I did to share the gospel with him he just wouldn't take it seriously because of his disbelief in eternity. In hindsight, I believe the pride that keeps us from a right relationship with God takes many forms in addition to pride in ones goodness. I have heard atheists take pride that they don't need belief in God to be good people, church folk often take pride in their "humility" or in their repentance, and now I believe Frank is taking pride in his gratitude.