Recently, I wrote a post about my Grandpa Big Ron and one of the best memories I have of him from my childhood. Not that I don’t think of her often but, typing up that post got me to thinking about my grandmother, Anna Mae Lewis.
Or, as we all called her, Grannie Annie….
I thank the Lord (as we should for everything we have) for my Grannie Annie. She used to take my cousin, Caleb (whom I named my son after), and I to church with her every single Sunday when we were little. Then, when my sister Casey was old enough, she would take her as well. What a great act of service? None of us were living in homes that were church active at that point (my mother got back into church life when I was older), but Grannie Annie made sure her grandchildren knew the Lord. I wonder if I would have grown up to know Christ as well as I have had it not been for her.
I remember going over to her house on Saturdays and playing tag with Caleb and Casey in the basement of her house. She had a huge basement that entertained us for hours. We would always end up doing something to get into trouble and grandma would use a “switch” on us. She could never get enough force behind it to make it hurt though. I guess if I were a better child, that I should have never gotten her to the point of needing one in the first place.
We would stay at Grandma’s house on Saturday nights quite a bit though. Grandpa had a bedroom upstairs and the rest of us slept downstairs in the extra room. There were a couple of hide a bed couches that she would pull out for us to sleep on. One thing that I always remember about Grannie Annie was that church started on Saturday night. Not that we would go there but in how she would prepare.
Being in the Lord’s house on Sunday was a non-negotiable for my grandmother. And, not only did we need to be present physically, but we needed to be present mentally as well. We went to bed early on Saturday so that we would not be tired in church the next morning. As an adult, I must admit that this is not a lesson that has always taken hold well. I have lost track of the number of times, in my 20’s and 30’s that I have struggled to stay awake in church. It can almost always be traced back to staying up way too late on Saturday night.
However, the one lesson that my grandmother taught me growing up that has taken root in my mind and my heart is this, and I can still hear her voice when I think it…..
She would say, “Zach, the most important thing that you can do in life is to always be nice to people, even when they are not nice to you. This is what Jesus wants from us.”
I tell this to my children often. I attempt to live it to the best of my abilities. Now, does this mean that I am always nice to everyone? No, not always. My grandmother was a one in a million type of person. I try my hardest to live the example that she set for my life and I hope that I honor her in the way I live my life and raise my children.
But, what about you? Are you nice to people? Do you treat those around you with kindness and respect regardless of how they treat you? I think Grannie Annie’s words work for all of us, regardless of where we are in life.
The most important thing that you can do in life is be nice to people, even when they are not nice to you.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.