A little over a year ago, I was privileged to be at the funeral service honoring Jack Maroon Sr. Although he was approaching ninety years of life and service to the Lord, he never seemed to be anywhere near that old. He was always cheerful, upbeat, buoyant in spirit, and ready to serve the Lord. He had pastored churches all across our state and had willingly, quickly, engaged in mission projects to points around the world.
At his funeral his pastor Ray Burks shared a thought that was so beautiful and so Jack Maroon. He told that he could often see Jack interacting with friends and church family and when someone would ask him, “How are you doing?” Jack would reply, “I’m mo’ better.” In case you don’t understand Southern English, “mo’ better” is to say that he was more better. For Jack Maroon, that was the way I always knew him. With his gentle smile, quick wit, willingness to serve, and kind heartedness, anywhere and everywhere you would find him, mo’ better would describe him.
His glowing spirit and upbeat attitude was always a part of who he was and where he was. While some of my readers may be sticklers for English, I would only suggest that being mo’ better is better than being mo’ worser. I’ve known people that way also and you, too, may have run into them. What a joy to run into those folks who don’t just say — but are — mo’ better, who look at life and choose to find the good that’s there, focus on the positive, find ways to overcome the negative, to not only move into that arena of mo’ better but reach out and pull folks along with him or her.
The mo’ better people are the people with whom even a thirty second encounter can make your day mo’ better. Jack Maroon had spent a majority of his adult life preaching the Gospel, serving the churches, reaching the lost, and caring about a world that needed to know his wonderful Savior. He chose to see most of every day, all day, as a sunrise moment that indeed was mo’ better. He knew the difficulties of this old world and he certainly knew the sorrows and pain that come from our own sinfulness, our own disobedient decisions, but out of a loving relationship with Jesus he saw life and especially the blessings in his life as mo’ better.
All of us have heard folks say that love is blind, but that’s probably not the case. Someone said, “Love is not blind; it just chooses to see the better things in life and the better things in other people.” That is the mo’ better approach. It is the Jesus approach. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” To all of us, Jesus offers not only a new life but an everlasting life and a life that is filled with victory and hope and optimism because He is our victor and because He can turn the worst of the worst into the best of the best. In other words, Jesus brought us a mo’ better life.
There is not one of us who has not experienced pain and suffering, disappointments and delays, failures and frustrations, difficult people, and impossible circumstances, and yet because we know Him — Jesus, the life giver, the abundant life provider — we can see each day as mo’ better. Those who may think that’s just a fairy tale look at life, a Pollyanna approach to the world’s troubles, and ignoring the realities of a sin-touched, hate-filled world at times, I strongly disagree. Rather, it is to look to the Savior to wrap your life in genuine, confident faith in a God who loves us, cares for us, and day by day in amazing ways provides for us.
Jesus led us to the greatest example. As He hung on the cross bearing your sins and mine, a load that seemed impossible to carry, He was taking His last breaths and He said, “Into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46) knowing that God the Father was going to take care of Him, and indeed us, and just hours away the world would celebrate. He is not dead; He is alive forevermore! Whatever you’re facing today, it’s not just a silly thought but a confident, triumphant thought to look at life through the eyes of Jesus and our faith anchored to Him and be able to say, “I’m mo’ better.”
The author can be contacted at email@example.com.
Dr. Jim Futral