After some of my readers responded to my blog last week, it became evident that I am not the only angry person. Some are even angrier than I am and that frightens me a bit. I am not saying that they don’t have just cause. I just worry that it’s more widespread than we even hear about. These are people who normally go about their day without ever letting anyone know of their anger. They are good people. They don’t have to shout it from the rooftops or demonstrate it in forms of violence or protest. They try to get through their day like the rest of us.
This thought struck me this morning upon rising from my slumber. It often happens this way because God knows that I need a quiet moment to hear Him. Why am I wasting all of this time and energy on things that truly don’t matter, all the while missing out on the good things? If you got that dreaded call from your doctor’s office to come in and you found out you were dying with no hope in sight, would any of it matter? Really matter? You wouldn’t want to waste your final days on the troubling thoughts you carry around with you day after day. You would want to spend time with your loved ones making sure they knew how much you loved them. You would mend fences. You would want to leave something good behind. You would want people to think kindly of you. Your efforts would go towards leaving things in a good place. Politics wouldn’t matter. What your neighbor was doing with the bushes he planted too close to your fence line wouldn’t matter. Losing your favorite parking space at work, how well cooked your steak was, the latest gossip, all of the things that seemed important yesterday, wouldn’t matter anymore.
We let so many situations get out of hand, allow people’s words to hurt us too much, and spend so much time distracted by the craziness of social media and the busyness of the world that we miss out on so much. We look so far down the road that we miss what’s important right here and now. Our noses are to the grindstone or buried in our phones. Our heads are somewhere else worrying instead of where they should be. Our attention is diverted by news headlines and cacophony. Oh look! A squirrel!
So, why wait until you get bad news? I pray you never do, but we just don’t know, do we? We may live to be 100 and regret not truly living it in the right way or we could be gone at a young age with so much promise of what was to come, but leaving a legacy of wonderful things. Read the obituaries of those who have died. Their families talk about the love they gave and the difference they made in others’ lives. Not their success. Not the material objects they owned. Not how much money they had in the bank. Turn that anger and worry into something productive, but not at the cost of relationships. Put that energy into helping others instead of losing sleep and just talking about it. Think about what matters the most and keep it a priority. We always say, “Oh, there’s plenty of time for him to settle down.” Or “You are young, work hard, be successful now, so you can enjoy life later.” What if there wasn’t all that time? How would it change the way you look at things?
As someone in my 60’s now, I realize just how quickly it all happens. I look back and know I lived a full life, had a wonderful family and marriage. We just celebrated our 42nd anniversary yesterday. I also think where did the time go? Did I get to do all of the things I wanted to do? Hardly. Do I have regrets? A few. Could I have made more of my time? Yes, but I think the sacrifices might have been too great. It’s not over, though. I can let go of my anger and focus on what deserves my attention. I can do better. Can you?
“Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud.”