Almost exactly two years ago, I was invited to speak at the Avondale Graduation for that year and had accepted. But unexpectedly, my wife was taken ill in late November and was dead by the 22nd of December. It was a very difficult time, but it was also a time in which life had a certain clarity. All sorts of things that had seemed important – the state of the house, the state of my finances, the state of my work –seemed suddenly far less significant. But relationships (with Beth, with my children, with our friends, with God), in those days and in the months that followed, became more and more clear. How important these were. It wasn’t that I gave up on the house, or my finances or my work, but it was clear that they were secondary priorities. I was to invest in things that would last, in things that, when the going was tough, had really been revealed to matter. In short, I was to invest in love.

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