Summary: This message was preached for a young man who had extensive military background.
Memorial Service for Brian McKay
Good afternoon. I am David Henderson and I am the pastor of Eagle’s Landing Baptist Church here in Port Richey. We are grateful for the life of Brian McKay and very pleased that our military is here to help honor his life.
Scripture/Psalm 23 Today we find ourselves in the valley of the shadow of death that the Psalmist talked about…..it is a difficult place to be but as the psalmist talks about it is also a place where we can experience the presence of God. One of the things I have discovered through the years is that we are never really completely ready to lose someone who we are close to. I have stood here and helped with services for people who were very young, in the prime of their lives and as well for many who may have lived to be 100 plus years and in neither case is the family ready. Nor do we understand God’s timing. So one of the questions we often ask at the time of losing a loved one is why? We cannot help it but we often ask why things happen as they do. David asked why ... in Psalm 22 ... David had faced death as well. Paul the apostle said now we see thru a dark glass….it’s not clear but one day we will see face to face...he was saying it is not all clear now but one day it will be...there are things we do not understand right now but one day we will understand...that day according to Paul will be when we see Jesus Christ face to face. I look forward to that day.
A college professor tells the story of being invited to speak at a military base. A soldier named Ralph was sent to meet him at the airport. After they introduced themselves they headed toward the baggage claim area and as they were walking down the concourse Ralph kept disappearing, once to help an older woman whose suitcase had fallen open, once to lift up two toddlers so they could see Santa Claus, and again to give directions to someone who was lost. Each time he came back with a big smile on his face.
The professor asked him, “where did you learn to live like that?” Ralph said, “During the war, I guess.” He said on my last tour of duty, it was my job to detect mines, and he said I watched as several on my friends were killed right before my eyes. So I learned to live between steps. I never knew whether the next step would be my last, so I learned to get everything I could out of the moment between when I picked up my foot and put it down again. Every step I took was a whole new world, and I guess I’ve been living that way ever since.”
Too many times our lives are spent around the area of setting big goals and achieving big things unfortunately we don’t always reach those goals. We are always looking at the long view of life and we fail to pay attention to the daily tasks/jobs that God places in front of us. Too often we fail to live between steps. To just take life one day at a time as Brian McKay did. “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24.
It seems to me Pat that as you described your husband Brian to me in detail today that this is the way that he lived. And I believe it is the way that you have lived as well. It would be good for all of us to live this way. When Brian McKay, at the youthful age of 23 developed an aneurism he knew he had to resign from the military. He had finished an associate degree in college. He had become a Captain in the Army but now it was time to take a step back. But he chose his steps carefully. He chose not to resign from life. He was an over comer and Pat so are you. He was told they his years would be limited and that he might not live very long but he chose not to accept that and he lived for another 40 years. He was married for almost 41 years, would be 41 in August. You were told that you would not be able to have children, yet Dallas and Leah are here today as a testimony of God’s goodness and Pat you have 3 beautiful grandchildren.... all girls. Your proved the doctors wrong. Both of you chose to live life in the moment and make each day count. You are to be commended for your positive attitude and for the courage you had to face life and make the most of this challenge you were facing.