Archive for May 2012

The Gift of Life

May 30, 2012

Life can be fleeting and over in an instant.  I was reminded of that fact when driving my family home after the Memorial Day weekend at the lake.  As I was passing a van that was pulling a travel trailer, the driver starting pulling into my lane forcing me to go completely off the road and onto the berm for several hundred feet.  This was just as we were approaching an overpass and had little room to maneuver.  I blew my horn and the driver finally saw us and pulled back over into his original lane.  It was over in an instant but created panic in me and my wife.  She said she thought she was going to throw up and I later admitted I felt the same way.  There is nothing like near death to get your heart going.

On reflection, it reminded me of a recent interaction.  Over the weekend I noticed my two grandsons, ages seven and three, competing for glow sticks that they were playing with around a weekend campfire.  I took the older grandson aside and reminded him that it is important to be happy with what you have rather than unhappy because someone else has something that you want.   It reminded me once more of the quote by Rabbi Hyman Schachtel, “Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.”

The near accident also reminded me of one of my favorite affirmations – I am grateful for the gift of life and I use the present wisely.  I especially like the attitude of gratitude it reflects and also the double meaning of the word “present” at the end.  My personality style causes me to be somewhat of a procrastinator – deliberate, cautious, and liking to maintain the status quo.  When confronted with the fragile and transitory nature of life you think about the things that you intend to do later and it gives them a new sense of urgency to avoid some of the coulda, shoulda and woulda’s of life.

Lastly, the driving situation reinforced a strong belief in me that there is someone watching over us and protecting us from harm.  This protection is not universal as witnessed by the fact that tradgeties happen every day, but it seems stronger in those having a purpose in life and working (however slowly) toward fulfilling that purpose every day.  I think sometime we are “spared” because we have not yet finished our work.

The bottom line is – I am grateful for today and try to use my time wisely and I hope that you will do the same.