Ever wonder how you got to this moment in your life? Not the place, but the moment. This split second of time and all the thoughts, emotions, joys, pains, words, facial expressions is just another inerasable, irreversible entry in the journal of your life.
It exist independent from all other preceding moments; yet is built upon the foundation of each which was swept from the present to the past in the blink of an eye. Its quality – the goodness or badness; satisfaction or disappointment; memorable or forgettable – is not the only thing which makes it count. It is significant in being the only moment like it we will ever experience.
All the seconds of living which have passed have accumulated before the big hand clicks over into one more minute. It is the sweeping movement powered by choice which moves us forward into the next. Like the little hand, circumstances come slower; change less frequently; last longer. Choices camouflaged as responses to circumstances push us through our current situation. We exist within our surroundings without choice as to what they might be, but how we choose to respond move us on into the next hour.
The clock can’t be unplugged. The batteries only die when we take our last breath. Time is never suspended. There are no timeouts. Even not choosing is choosing. We can attempt to resolve the past or correct our reactions, but there is no setting back the clock.
So, what do we do when this moment is not what we hoped? How do we deal with the disappointment, loss, sadness, grief, depression of a moment?
Talking to a friend today, he told me of a local man, a good man, a well-respected man, a family man, a godly man, who had suffered incredible medical hardships. I’ve known him since I was a kid playing toss with him in his backyard. A fundraiser was held last night to help offset the mounting unpaid medical expenses. (Mike, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.)
I have no explanation for why bad things happen to good people. I’ll take my lumps. Most of my problems are directly related to my choices. When good things happen, I’m blessed unexpectedly. When bad things come along, it’s nothing more than reaping what I’ve sown; but I still whine and cry about my predicament.
But, what about the good guys, gracious ladies and innocent children, who have lived much better lives than me? How do they respond with strength, resolve, dignity?
Truth is, I don’t have a clue!
I guess the same character which led them to being good people is the same substance which allows them to respond so well to the circumstances forced upon them without any control.
My mother has never been one to have an ill word to speak of others. Even when she did, she said it so nicely; I didn’t even notice she was being critical. And now, in the clenches of the destructive forces of Alzheimer’s, she still shows a wonderful, sweet spirit. She reaches out to others in the hallways where she lives. She speaks kindly to staff about their families, who she does not know. She may not know who I am, but whoever I happen to be yesterday or tomorrow, she always ask how I’m doing. Who she was before these circumstances still shines through.
I wish I had the same spirit of those people, who just seem to understand life does not determine the response. How they have lived and continue living dictates how they accept life. They see God and the world in such a way that living will never be taken from them by circumstances.
“God, grant me the strength to choose to live like those, who have so little in which to be happy, but find joy no matter what!”