CAPE MAY - I grew up loving “bubblegum music.” This was the title given to songs like “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies and “Simon Says,” by the 1910 Fruitgum Company.

My favorite band of this infectious genre was “The Partridge Family.” Oh, how badly I wanted to be a member of the Partridges. I got to interview the legendary Shirley Jones on my Radio Show a few years back and I literally asked her if she would adopt me because I thought she was the coolest Mom around. I still own all my Partridge Family Records and play them when I’m feeling a bit blue and just need to smile.

Another funny tidbit was when I joined the Philadelphia College of Bible’s Chorale back in the day, my Choir Director gave me this advice about my singing. He said, “A little less David Cassidy would surely help your voice!”

Sign Up for E-News

A week ago, I saw one of the saddest documentaries on television that I have ever witnessed and it was about David Cassidy. He passed away just a little while back and his daughter Katie Cassidy shared this horrific truth.

She said, “My father’s last words were ‘So much wasted time.” All the records, money, fame, possessions and adoration from devoted fans couldn’t meet the needs of his aching heart.

David never received the acceptance that he desired from his Dad, Jack Cassidy. No matter what David did, it was never good enough for his insecure Father. David spent a good chunk of his life attempting to climb an insurmountable mountain. He made so much great music but the song never soothed his soul and he left this world with the one result that nobody wants to have as their final tagline: Regret. 

Are you still trying to please a Parent, a Spouse, a Boss, a Coach, a Teacher that will never be satisfied? Are you investing the best of who you are into a bottomless pit of despair? Do you know that if you look up right now, you would see a Heavenly Father who loves you not because of what you do but because of who you are? To Him, you are already His masterpiece. You are fearfully and wonderfully created. Love is not something to be earned, but an unconditional gift to be received with no strings attached.

God’s grace is available to whosoever will may come and open up their heart and let it in. What a difference it makes when you are no longer living with your goal being to be accepted and valued. God already loves you more than you could even conceive or imagine. When we operate with our hearts filled, we are then ready to be spilled knowing that God will never allow our wells to run dry!   

I think we are all susceptible to become victims of our environments. The world’s mantra is “You Have Got To Look Out For Number One,” with the main subject of life’s sentence being quite self-centered.

God says that if we want to capture the secret of life, it is not so much in the getting as it is in the giving. God so loved that He gave us Himself. He never thought that as a wasted move. The only mistake would be not participating in the party that the Lord has invited us to be a part of.

Pride is deadly and poisonous. It keeps us lost in the fog when if we would only humble ourselves and ask for help, we could be alive and well out in the open.

Will this be another Holiday Season of so much wasted time? David Cassidy’s words have been a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love and to not waste those precious moments when I can put my creativity into practice. We are not always a victim of our circumstances. We can intentionally make decisions to do what we can to change the state that we claim to be stuck in. What if we let God lead and stopped letting the crowd dictate our decisions?

Last Saturday Night, Mike, Jeff and I were on the B Train coming back from Yankee Stadium heading into Manhattan so we could catch the Path Train back to Hoboken where I parked my car.

We had gone to see some College Football as Notre Dame beat up on Syracuse in route to what turned out to be an undefeated regular season. It really was a great day but there were a couple of situations where the same old ugly anxiety tried to rear its ugly head and steal my joy.

There we were, packed in like sardines on the B Train and we weren’t moving. It was hot, stuffy, crowded and things got no better when the Conductor came on with the news that, “We are experiencing signal issues and other problems and will be stuck here indefinitely. Thank you for your patience.” I muttered under my breath, “As if I had a choice.” It was taking forever. All of a sudden, I had a migraine coming on and it felt like the walls were closing in. I wanted to scream.

I closed my eyes and prayed and asked God what to do. The defeated me would have stayed put and given in to the circumstances. The me that refused to surrender to “wasting time” made a decision. I asked Mike and Jeff if they were willing to go for a walk. Sure, it would be traveling 40 plus blocks but they both quickly agreed.

Just coming up out of the pit and getting out above the ground into the fresh air invigorated me. We were in the Big Apple! People paid big bucks to walk the route we were about to embark upon. We strolled past Lincoln Center and Columbus Circle. I actually started singing Barry Manilow’s song, “New York City Rhythm” at the top of my lungs. It’s New York, no one cares!

We continued on passing the Ed Sullivan Theater, the Brill Building, right down Broadway and

Times Square! I even bought hot chestnuts from a vendor! I love hot chestnuts! We made a memory out of what the enemy meant to be a mess. I came home not silenced by stress, but lifted up via life lived and laughter shared. And it was inspired by the line, “All the wasted time.” Not this time! Not today!

Living at its fullest takes an effort for you and I to get up and change the channel! Get your eyes off the “Me Station” and tune into the “He Station!”

Get your perspective on things above! The Conductor of the B Train may be sharing bad news but the Conductor of the Gospel Express is calling you to come out from underneath the ground and get out into God’s fresh air! Look at who you’re with!

Look at what’s around you! Instead of being consumed by who doesn’t love you and what doesn’t happen and where you aren’t; concentrate on the truth that God does love you and you have a purpose and that assignment can be experienced wherever you are planted! Look at the One who wants to make sure that all your wasted days and wasted nights are no more!

Rudy Sheptock is the Senior Pastor at Lighthouse Church in Cape May Court House, NJ