Death. We are born knowing that this will be our fate. It follows us quietly in the shadows watching, waiting. It is our back door that we keep bolted shut with the blinds drawn hidden behind some pretty curtains. If we don’t have to look at it then we can pretend to forget about it like it doesn’t exist. It is always there. We can numb its presence but once in awhile it sneaks up on us and reminds us our time is limited.
When we are born looking ahead at our lives it seems we will live forever. There is so much promise in our years and our paths. Then, in the blink of an eye we are middle age. We stand in the middle of the road looking back at our past and ahead at our future. We can see the end and the beginning and it becomes clear our journey is much shorter than we originally imagined. We become stuck there looking back at our lives and what we wish could be different and hopeful that we will make the days that lie ahead our very best. The best is yet to come. Isn’t that what we whisper to ourselves. Isn’t that the place in the corner where we go to find comfort and meaning. I ask you this? What if you keep living the same way, making the same mistakes and collecting more regrets?
Sometimes I jump ahead to the end if my path. I try and look back in hindsight to the parts that were great and the things I wished I had changed. I guess realistically, I could never really know but one thing is always certain. I want to believe my existence mattered. I don’t have to become president or change the world, but it would be nice to know that I made the world a better place for the people whose lives mine touched along the way.
I have stood next to many caskets shaking my head, engulfed in guilt because I had the best intentions to make an effort to visit and make time for the person lying there. Why, do we realize someone’s importance when they are all dressed up to go away but not when they are home alone waiting for our call and maybe even a time for us to visit? We are selfish with our time. We are always too busy. Busy doing what? Catching up on our latest shows, arguing with our spouse, surfing the internet? What is it that makes us too busy to make time for the people who love us? Is it our child’s swim schedule or our sons baseball league?
We choose what is important. We choose how we spend out time. Do we honestly feel good about putting a recreational sport in front of our love for our parents? Sorry mom, we can’t come home this summer because Kayleigh has some swim meets. Huh? Sometimes we use money as an excuse. I know I do. I can’t afford a plane ticket right now. Really, I bet my bottom dollar I’d find that money if someone was extremely ill or even worse. Why not do it when you can make a difference and give someone the gift of your love and your time? We only have a short time to make connections in this life, are you distracted because you’ve been connecting with things that cannot feel or return your love? Ask yourself, how do I use my time? Have I made time and effort to be around the people who love me? Have I showed them how important they are and how much they mean to me? Do I call them just to say hello and pop in to see them so they know that I care? Do I send the message you do not matter and I am too busy to see you now? OR, maybe, do they just know because year after year they know you will be there? But have they done the same for me? Do I feel like I matter? These are really difficult questions to ask.
Use your time wisely. Your time is a gift to be shared with others. Why put it off until it is too late? I bet you will regret it. I know I have.