Over the last few days I’ve witnessed so many who’ve cursed or eulogized the last year; yes 2013. Instead of rejoicing in the 365 days of life God allowed them, they dismiss the gifts of grace in hopes of happenstance instantly or magically changing their circumstances.
What makes a person believe that the tick of a second-hand tock is going to erase the hardships, the failures, the could-have-beens, the should-have-beens and the never-have-beens?
Good things happen, bad things happen, terribly horrible things happen and yes; wonderfully fantastic things happen. This is what we call “Life.”
Were there hard times in 2013? Sure. After 14 years I still miss my mother. After 7 years and counting, I still cheerlead for my son with Down syndrome to live an amazingly fantastic life. Day after day I still watch my dad as the effects of diabetes and dementia take their collective toll.
This is called “Life” and it’s a gift; rejoice in it. Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
While attending a funeral recently, an 89-year-old gentleman graced me with conversation. In sincerity and optimism he looked squarely at me and said, “Chief, life is too short. Enjoy it.”
What do you say to that?
I thought about the many who hurriedly stowed away 2013 in hopes of better times, the comment I could not respond to on life’s brevity, and my own take on the passing of one calendar year to the next.
I’m going to be honest with you; am I where I wanted to be on several levels at the end of 2013? No, not at all.
- I wanted to increase my walk with Christ
- I wanted to be a better father
- I wanted to be a better son and brother
- I wanted to be a better friend
- I wanted to be thinner and healthier
- I wanted to not be so guarded
- I wanted to cycle more, and eat ice cream less (debatable)
Am I bitter? Have I plastered Facebook with admonishments over a 2013 unlived, have I darkened others’ days with tales of “unfairs” over the last year? No. Not at all. It was a fantastic year. It was a 365 day blessing of mercy that God gifted me. It was yet another year in my life well lived.
This is not an admonishment for pessimistic postings. It’s a reminder that if you think back over the course of the last year you will find;
- The bad things that could have been avoided, possibly required more of our time and attention.
- The horrible things that could not be avoided, we should be thankful that we’re still in this life to grieve, learn or recover.
- The good things that happened probably resulted from our hard work and dedication.
- The fantastic things that happened probably included someone else’s support along the way.
If you sat on your thumbs in 2013 waiting for what you thought owed and were disappointed, then sitting on your thumbs in 2014 will probably only result in much more soreness and even more criticisms come next New Year ’s Eve.
Don’t be so quick to eulogize the passing year for its failures, as they represent the “you” who experienced it. Instead, embrace the positive and learn from the each opportunity.
Failure is not getting knocked down. It’s refusing to get back up.
See you at the end of yet another superhero’ish calendar year 2014.
The Eulogy: 2013