Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90: 12
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent.” Barbara Bush
Our son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Amy, celebrated their twenty-third wedding anniversary yesterday. They did it in style with their two precious gifts from God—their daughters—on trip to Atlanta and then on to North Carolina for a few days. While in Atlanta they saw The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and Stone Mountain (which Nathan and I had ridden to the top of thirty-eight years earlier).
In honor of their anniversary, Lynda and I yesterday played one of our favorite songs by Paul Young, “Every Time You Go Away” (…you take a piece of me with you). A song which always brings a tear to our eyes, and reminds us of the importance of the relationships God has placed in our lives. Relationships to cherish and enjoy, even though at times we find ourselves taking them for granted.
Nathan and Amy do as good a job as anyone we know of not taking their marriage relationship for granted. I have to admit, I’ve learned something from them about that—which makes my bride happy.
How about you?
Look back over the last six months of your daily calendar—how did you spend your time? How many times do you see the names of those special people given to you listed there setting time aside to be with them? For years I didn’t understand the importance of that—I was too busy always headed out to climb another mountain to be successful, to make money, to win another award or acquire another bigger and better thing.
Or, even if we understand the importance of time with those special people, we delay it—we still have plenty of time, we’ll do it another day, we rationalize—and simply take for granted that those moments will even be there on another day. Really? We’re not promised tomorrow guys. And so we end up forever missing moments with those sacred and special people given to us that we can never get back. Never.
The roles we occupy are roles with the potential of life-changing transformation for those who have been given to us in sacred trust—children, grandchildren, husbands and wives and others within our family, and friends. Each has been entrusted to us to nurture, mold and grow into all that God intended for them to be. Each has been given to us to make memories that matter most, in the seasons when they are here with us. The truth is that we, and they, will have memories either way—memories of either having spent time with them, or not.
On January 14, 2003, two weeks before his team was to play in Super Bowl XXXVII, in San Diego, a son, Michael William, was born to Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Joe Jurevicius and his bride, Meagan. Michael was born with a disease called “fetal hydrops.” He wasn’t expected to live more than a few days.
Yet he bravely struggled on for nine weeks with his tiny little body hooked up to life support equipment in the hope that something could be discovered in the meantime to help him, that something could be done to change the inevitable.
During a television account of that period in their lives, Joe, choking back tears in his voice, said that when they finally removed their precious Michael from the life support equipment, he and Meagan were able to pass him between themselves holding and loving him during the last hour of his life—until he died. A sacred moment—forever filled with sacred memories—and powerful reminders for each one of us.
I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now. I don’t know who has let you down or disappointed you this past week. I don’t know what important stuff you think you have in front of you. I don’t know what or who is bothering you or trying to set your schedule for the day or days ahead.
But I wonder if you and I need to do a better job of listening to that gentle whisper of a God who daily reminds us, and daily blesses us, with sacred moments with those we love, with those who need us that we need to spend time with—moments we will either look back on with regret, or with a warm smile.
Either way—the memory of them will last forever.
Happy Anniversary, and thanks for the example.
In His Name—Dad/Scott
Copyright 2017. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.