For now …
I am a planner, somewhat of an organizer, appreciate things done on time and in an efficient manner, and like to know where I am headed in my daily chores, in my work, in travel, having fun, and in life in general. As this year comes to a close and we are set to begin a new one, I have been giving thought to where I am in life and what I want accomplish in the coming months. I still have goals, plans and dreams at 74 years of age, and believe that as long as I am alive, I should be reaching for them with every ounce of my being. When we cease to plan and dream, we are giving up on life and may as well sit down to wait on the death angel to come for us.
I am not there yet and don’t plan to be any time soon. I do come from excellent genes with long life spans in my family. My precious Mama Cole lived to be 99 years of age, and her grandmother lived to be 112. We just buried my aunt last month at 96.
With that being said, one of the most difficult tasks I have had to learn to face in the past two years is that I am less in control of my life now than I was in earlier years. And I have also learned once again and in very real ways that God’s timing is not always our timing. In fact, I think it is seldom our timing. I no longer feel I have to do everything today, and if things take a bit longer to accomplish, it is likely not going to kill me or anyone else. I am trying to live in the now of my life.
What do I mean when I write “in the now of my life”? I want to learn in every phase I can. I intend to read, write, visit, explore, travel and teach until my health will not allow it any longer. I want to make every day and every hour count for something. I want to continue to help change lives and circumstances for others and be busy doing good and not evil.
I started thinking about this subject while visiting during the happy Christmas season in another state. In long conversations with a dear lady, I realized that she felt her life was over for all practical purposes. She was in the process of simply giving up and not looking forward to anything. She had been divorced from one mate, and a second husband had died. She felt her two adult children cared little about her, and she had reared a granddaughter with a deeply troubling history. There was not one ounce of Christmas cheer in her home other than what I took to her. In looking around, I discovered there wasn’t much in the way of groceries either, and certainly nothing resembling the makings of a holiday meal. I became concerned that the utilities had been paid and that she had the medicines that had been prescribed for her.
How does this happen? How do people get in this condition? Does it begin without the person being aware and does illness, remorse, loneliness, frustration, finances, hopelessness, depression, and sadness eat away at life slowly but surely until little positive is left? Are good people so busy and so uncaring that they are unable to notice the changing circumstances and simply stop sharing or checking on people left in this sad condition? Where are the family, community and neighbors?
I ask you to think about those within your circle today. Is there anyone you love or know that is in trouble in any of these ways? Can you think of just one person for whom you could make a positive change as we end this year and begin a new one? Part of our living in the now may mean that even though our lives and homes are blessed, others are suffering. Just because you have funds in your many bank accounts doesn’t mean everyone does. What could we afford to share with those less fortunate?
Galatians 2:20 is an interesting verse of Scripture: “I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Christian people live by the grace of God, and by our lives, others see him and are helped and blessed. I want to live every day in the now and display the love of God in real and ministering ways in 2017. Happy New Year.
Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or at brendacannonhenley [at] yahoo [dot] com.