I often wonder why it takes an event like death to trigger a fresh look at the values I hold closest to my heart. In the midst of a fresh review, I find myself circling around two points Life keeps pointing out.
Our choices are what they are. We may talk about our dreams and values. Our lives tell the real story. There is always a context to every story, yet the story line will always contain core elements. Whatever these elements are, in your life as well as mine, those around us know their reality by our choices and deeds. The way we walk paints the picture.
We are inspired and challenges by the models laid out in the best of the life of others. When death knocks, the parting gift of the departed is the hope and inspiration s/he wrote for the story of her/his life. As a recent passing reminded me, there are many examples that leave us with learning and wonder. In the case at hand, I can see a clear message; “Make an honest living, never take a bribe. You’ll never get blacklisted if you live like this.” (Psalm 15.5) The message did not stop there. Live at peace with everything around you – blocking the negative, emphasizing the good.
As I look back, I see a teacher willing to share. I also see someone supporting my journey in ways that are helpful to my story. It was a priceless gift of hope and more. The gift was designed to live on within my story in ways I did not imagine. I did not realize its value until I had lost giver. In realizing the loss, I have discovered that I have an opportunity to reclaim the gift through action and living. The opportunity is here as long as I remember and am willing to hear with my heart as well as my mind. Life reminds me that the opportunity rarely last very long. The lingering whisper is one that I have heard before – carpe diem. Life is shorter than I imagine.