This past Sunday, Mike Brown, pastor at Southside Praise and Worship Center in Hillsboro, taught on living life to its fullest. Believe me, this is a message I needed to hear, and I suspect many of you do, too.
Preacher Brown spoke on taking life’s shortcomings and trying moments in stride, and not allowing them to “own” you. As he spoke, beads of sweat popped onto my forehead.
He spoke of slowing down and not spending so much time on those things in life that steal our joy. Just then, I began to feel a tightness in my chest.
My pastor went on to point out that you never see a funeral procession with a Brinks truck heading for the cemetery.
I suppose he is right. You can’t take it with you, but just then I thought, “I’d like to enjoy some of it whilst I’m here!” The thought hadn’t even cleared my brain and the preacher looked directly at me and said, “You’ll never enjoy it here either until you give of yourself.” (Not really. I made that part up. He’s good, but not that good).
The point my dear Preacher Brown was making is that we spend so much time making a living that we forget to live. Our spouses suffer as do our children, grandchildren and our friends. Realizing this, you’d think I would heed good advice and stop and smell the roses, wouldn’t you? Not hardly.
Harry Chapin’s 1970s hit “Cats in the Cradle” really summed it up. Dad had too little time for his son, then in later life, following in Dad’s footsteps, son has too little time for Dad. Not because we don’t care, but we set our treadmill of life on high and don’t turn it down for anything or anyone short of the Grim Reaper.
Some of the best memories for me were those occasions when Mom and Dad would take us to the lake or a nearby creek to play and swim. It didn’t happen that often, so the memories really stand out.
Memories of fishing with my son and watching “Jaws” (probably an overachieving blue gill) run away with our unattended fishing pole was another one for me. Oh, there were more, but I’m wondering if the fact that there are but a few standout memories, perhaps I did it all wrong.
Come on! Yes, we must make a living, but some make it look so easy. They appear to have found balance between work, family, friends and the Lord’s work. Oh, I manage to work it all in, but often with my tongue hanging out and sometimes kicking and screaming.
If there were a guide called Scheduling for Dummies, and there probably is, I couldn’t work in the time to read it.
Some say a pet helps them to relax and gain perspective. My fear is with my schedule a pet may starve to death. Or, if I had a dog for example, with my routine, it would be so uptight I would have to do combat with it just to get from my car to my house.
Preacher Brown also pointed out that yesterday is gone, and the only thing we can change is today and tomorrow. He said so much energy is wasted pining over yesterday’s mistakes that should be spent on correcting today.
Occasionally, Preacher Brown has such an impactful message that makes me ponder it’s meaning for days and days. This past Sunday’s message was one of them. As a result, I think the only thing for me to do is find another church to attend (just kidding).
Think about it.
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at www.HerbDayVoices.com.