Another Year Wiser?

Today I add another year onto my life. I would like to say something profound about how much wiser I am but I can’t say that I would believe it. Experience teaches us all and we hope it helps us to become wiser.

It would be nice if we always made the right decision but as we all know, it doesn’t always turn out that way. We do the best that we can.

I grew up with a strong church influence and have had to make my own way through it. It hasn’t always been easy and I have done some really stupid things but that’s all a part of life.

I have learned to pray about things, make the best decision I can and trust God with the results. Some people stress about making the absolute right decision on everything but life is filled with twists and turns. Sometimes you just don’t know if you made the right choices until you are down the road and look back.

One thing I always say is that the best ability that someone can have is the ability to adjust. We all get into routines and when those routines change, we have to be able to deal with them. Whether it is a job, new home or other changes we face. My wife and I recently moved and this move changed several routines and my ability to adjust has been tested. I am still a little out-of-sync but I also realize it will take time and then the new changes will be the routine.

Today as I reach the number of 55 years, I can say I don’t think of myself being 55 but physically I feel it. I can tell you that at this point in life the years add up quicker than you want. The world seems to move faster around you while you slow down. I guess that’s the way life works. I can’t say that I am happy about that but sometimes you just do best to accept things that you can’t change.

Am I wiser today? I don’t think so.

You just live and be happy. Everyone has their own idea of what makes them happy and how to live their dream. Some actually realize their dream while others continue to chase theirs. Sometimes you have to make difficult choices to be happy. I know I have been there myself and you just have to do what you have to do to get there.

Don’t rely on looks because looks fade. When you find love, hold on to it and fight for it. True love is ageless. It is always wise to choose love. Yeah I know that sounds a bit mushy but if I am wiser about anything, it is love. Love is worth it.

Live your life and make wise choices and hold onto love.

What Are You Doing With Your Vapor?

You never think about how short life is until you experience death. We like to avoid the subject because it is uncomfortable for us to face. It is a depressing subject for sure but it is the painful reality of life. We all have 100% chance of dying. It is certain to happen, we just don’t know when it will happen.

The Bible says that “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14

A vapor. That’s our life.

The current life expectancy is 78.7 years in the United States. That number is far away when you are in your 20s or 30s but when you reach 50, that magic number comes into focus.

So what can we do about it? Not much really but when our time comes it comes. There are two things that we can do. We can make our “vapor” an influence while it exists and we can also plan for what comes next.

Let’s look at the present. What are we doing with our vapor now? Are we using the gifts and talents we have been given? We all have something that we can do to make the world around us better. We all have a calling. It may be our jobs, our hobbies or just being a good person that can impact the lives of others around us. We shouldn’t waste it. If you don’t feel like you have done much or look back and lament over the wasted time behind you, start today and focus on what you should be doing with your vapor.

The best way we can influence people is be kind and help others. The world has a serious shortage in kind people. Don’t believe me? Get out in traffic. That will settle it pretty quickly. People are so impatient and selfish. It can be quite demoralizing. Being kind to others doesn’t require a college degree or even religion. Just treat people right and have some integrity. This is something that will impact people more than any charity we could do. Kindness is contagious. This is how we can make our vapor effective while it lasts.

We must also decide what is going to happen next. Life after death. Some people deny anything happens after death. They think when you die then that’s it. The end.

While there is no absolute proof that there is life after death, we can’t ignore the feeling that there has to be more than this. Death can’t be the end. How we live our life depends a lot on what we believe about death.

So what happens when we die? No one really knows for sure but the Bible tells us that when we leave our body, our soul goes to be with the Lord until the resurrection of believers when the spirit will be reunited with the body. Yeah I know this is a leap for most people to believe and I’m not sure I can properly explain the Biblical view of what happens when we die but a life after death transition isn’t something we can comprehend.

There are many beliefs on what happens s after death but it is hard to deny that something does indeed happen to our soul. It is up to you to decide for yourself. I choose to believe in what the Bible says. It is my personal conviction that Jesus Christ was God’s only son who was sent to earth to become a sacrifice for my sins and my belief in him is a promise that I will have eternal life. I’m not forcing you to believe it but you will need to decide it at some point.

78.7

That’s what we have.

Maybe more. Maybe less.

What are we going to do with it?

First Day of a New Life

Yesterday another life was created. Our second grandchild was born and we welcomed her on her first day on Earth. When I have a chance to think about it, it really is quite amazing that yesterday was the first day of her life.

Life will change for her parents and even more for her two-year-old brother who will soon learn the lessons of sharing and what it means to be a big brother.

Life is a precious thing. We enter it so delicately but it changes as we grow older. We learn bad habits and unhealthy diets which become a part of our lives. I think we would all like a do-over. Unfortunately, we don’t get a chance to start over. We have to live with our mistakes. Those mistakes form us and we learn to adjust to the changes of life.

I often watch movies or read fiction that deal with alternative reality. A lot of wondering about what would have happened if? What if we had made a different decision at a crucial point in our lives? What if we had not missed the bus? So many things forge the course of our journey.

The first day of life is an amazing thought. Looking down at the innocent face of a newborn and seeing the first step in her life’s journey. Her only thought today is to stay warm. That is her priority. Her priorities will change in the years ahead.

So many things form us from our parents, our family, our education and the many people that come into our lives. I think about how some people come into our lives for a brief time while others are in our lives throughout our life. I have been influenced by both. You learn lessons from people and your the choices you make.

Are there things we wished we had done differently? Absolutely. We all have those times that we look back upon but we can’t dwell on them because none of us can go back in time and change it. We keep moving forward. We are all given time and chance each day.

As I looked at her face and hear the first sounds she makes, I am honored to be one of the many people who will be a part of her life. She is lucky to have the folks that welcomed her into the world. They are all good people and I am glad to be a part of that. Each one of us will add a little something to her life and she will learn life through us all. While it is an honor, it is also a huge responsibility.

Life is a miracle but it isn’t an accident and while there is time and chance along the way, there will be wise people to guide us.

Yesterday was first day of another’s journey.

What Are We Doing With The Dash?

dash

I just finished reading the obituary for one of my aunts who passed away earlier today.  As most of us do, I looked at the dates of her life.  Date of birth and Date of death.  In the middle is where all of us are at now.  The dash.

What are we doing with the dash?   That’s our present.   We have already been born and we don’t know what the date we will finish with.   We only have right now to live.   Are we making the best of it?

Life is full of unknowns.  We can make plans but somehow something or someone happens that changes the course of what we had thought our life was headed.

When I left home in 1982 just a few weeks after graduation, I would have never imagined I would be doing the job I am doing now in Nashville, Tennessee.

The dash.

Some people live in one place their entire life while others move from place to place.  Life is full of adventures and unexpected happenings along the way.  Time and chance happen to all of us.  Decisions determine the course of our lives but the good and bad ones.  When we make good decisions life seems good and we think everything is right with the world.  When we make bad decisions and think we have really screwed up our lives, we really haven’t.  The important thing is to adjust to the course.  Much like our GPS maps do when we make a wrong turn or going in the wrong direction.  We adjust our course to get on the right road.

It’s easy to get down on ourselves when we think life hasn’t worked out the way we wanted.  We all have dreams but sometimes we never achieve those things we dreamt about.  Does that mean we have wasted our lives?  Absolutely not.  Does that mean we can’t have a happy life?  No, it doesn’t.

Live the dash.   Live right now.

When I left home I was intent on making the military my career but after eight years I made the decision to leave active duty and pursue other things.  I went through several twists and turns before I have ended up here today in Nashville, Tennessee.  I am happier than I could have ever imagined.

It isn’t about a job.  It was certainly not about money or plans.   It is about the dash.  The now.  While I am not particularly fond of working to pay the bills, it is a necessity and someone has to be the responsible one.   But, even in doing this, you can still live a good life.  I don’t like bills, owing the IRS or dealing with incompetent people but I make the choice of whether or not that affects my happiness.

How are you spending your dash? Does your life reflect who you really are? Do you fill the hours in your day with people and things that make you smile? If not, is there one small thing you could change to move in that direction?

You know the date you were born.  Don’t obsessed over the ending date.  Look at the dash.  What are you doing with that?  The dash is what you will be remembered by the most.