In my pursuit of life, mostly power, status, and of course rewards, I missed one of life’s great ironies. Everyone, no matter how rich, poor, wealthy barely scraping by, powerful, or weak, has equal access to life’s priceless treasures. I am in no way trying to equate what it is like to be poor, just surviving, or vulnerable with anything that isn’t that. My observation lies in the simple fact that life’s greatest treasures – community, relationships, and the beauty in a sunset – are equally available to all. The priceless gifts are accessible and available to every human being; a sense of belonging, the smile of a child, a hug from someone who loves unconditionally, the wonder of hope, and the beauty found in nature.
Across history, the rich and powerful have eventually discovered their condition. “This is what Hezekiah king of Judah wrote after he'd been sick and then recovered from his sickness: ‘In the very prime of life I have to leave. Whatever time I have left is spent in death's waiting room.’” (Isaiah 38.9, 10) It is always interesting to catch the observation. It is as if it is something absolutely, totally, and completely new. Nobody has ever had this realization!
With decades, gray hairs, and far too much time away from those I love, the harsh realities of getting older sit heavy. It isn’t a hard burden, yet it comes with harsh realities. While I value every gift of love, treasure each smile and hug, and revel in natures beauty, I can’t help but wonder how many times I have let these slip by in pursuit of the right decision, the family goal, or the need to honor my word of commitment. Was anybody asking me for these things? Would I have been richer if I had held onto life priceless gifts?
Even as I find myself caught in yesterday’s conundrum I find myself missing what is present. The gifts never stop. They are present in your life and mine. Seize the day! Don’t let another slip by! Be present. Hope is here.
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