This week my closest friend, Keith “Chet” Clerihue, went home to be with the Lord. A few years back he asked me to do his funeral, and as much as I dreaded that day, I was honored to be a part of it. Keith’s life was a sermon – and will someday be in a book. Derived from the way he lived, there are lessons for us all.
Playing off of Keith’s passion to be a cowboy, I shared four things all of us can learn from his life well lived. Here they are:
1. Be Home For Dinner.
Keith understood the importance of family. Besides his relationship with the Lord, there was nothing that would trump the loyalty he had to his kids and wife. He lived out Ephesians 5 very well – selflessly giving his life for his wife, as Christ did for the church. He raised his boys to know and love the Lord.
2. Keep Your Wranglers Close.
One thing was sure about Keith – he had a million friends. Someone as likable as him was sure to be a magnet to just about every soul he encountered. A friend of Keith’s said it at his memorial service on Wednesday – “Keith was a Facebook before there was Facebook.” He connected with everyone and had the accidental hobby of connecting others around him. I can now say some of my (newfound) and closest friends have come through knowing Keith. Friendship was a cherished piece of Keith’s life and he did well investing in it endlessly.
3. Laugh, Even When Life is Hard.
Besides friendship – or perhaps as a result of – Keith’s other gift and hobby was laughter. He never seems to be too short of breath to laugh, and he had a skill of getting those around him to role on the floor. The joy of the Lord sustained Keith through some of his darkest days. Even when life was hard he took the time to smile and get others to join in.
4. Love the Lord More Than You Love the Land.
Chet – or “Keither” as I called him – loved taking pictures of the wide-open west. He cherished the land he came from, but more than the land or those that inhabitants it, he loved his Lord. Keith knew that Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior, and from that he found all peace, hope and security for his future. The Gospel of Christ was the core of Keith’s life and God’s Word was his firm foundation.
This man was truly amazing, but don’t wish you knew Keith better – allow Keith’s life to make you desire to know God more.