Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Choosing Life

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
January 13, 2010

For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. – Proverbs 8:35 NIV

A year has come and gone so quickly. It’s January again and the holidays are over. Cold weather has settled upon just about everyone and every place. Even though we may feel like we are hibernating under the blanket of cold weather, I sense this New Year is warmly abundant with many good things, opportunities, new beginnings for an extraordinary life for us all. There’s much to do and consider, like seeking more knowledge, starting new endeavors, helping others. Living a life that is dedicated and committed to simply being our best and living in excellence is important and a good place to strive.

While looking forward, my heart feels a little heavy, too It was last year this time my Dad went to be with the Lord. I could always share my hopes and dreams and talk of my plans with him. He is missed. I still share what’s in my heart with him and I know he hears me. I feel his encouragement and his presence because he left behind an abundance of love

When I was putting away Christmas decorations this year I decided to do a little organizing. In a dusty box were Christmas cards from the last 10 years. I’d had the forethought to save them over the years and put them in little bags, marking the year on the front. To my delight, I found cards from my Mom and Dad. It wasn’t always this way, but some time years ago, Daddy started writing little notes in our cards. It didn’t matter if it was Christmas, Valentines, birthday or whatever; we could always be assured of a 2 or 3 sentence note followed by his signature. Daddy never thought of himself as an eloquent speaker, but he was a true wordsmith when it came to pen and paper. How special to find these cards. His notes to me were like blessings a father would give to a child. He would say how he wished for good things to come our way, for good health and prosperity. He made mention of seeing us and how good it would be to see us again. Such treasures I held in my hands. The glittery cards tucked safely in their envelopes with loving messages from the past, yet they felt very present. All of this coinciding with the date on the calendar that would be etched in my mind and heart for all time. January 13th. An ordinary day for most and a difficult one for me.

I asked for guidance in prayer. Almost immediately I felt the strongest feeling that came through wisdom which was that I should not go down the road of re-living the past, the last few moments of my Dad's life or the sadness surrounding that time. But instead, I should rejoice at the life well-lived, the love of a family that came together including aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and acquaintances that filled our home with comfort. The love that came in many forms that were showered down on us is still cherished. The unity of a family working together in peace and harmony and doing difficult tasks with teamwork.

It is said that it matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. My Dad lived a life where he loved deeply and cared for his parents and siblings, his wife and children, the grandchildren and showed love to his neighbors and friends and his beloved pets. Saint Augustine who was a theologian said, “Love is the beauty of the soul”. If love is in one’s heart, it must escape and be shared. If a heart is void of love, then everyone will know and feel it. We still have time on this earth to determine what our legacy will be. Emerson said, “It is not length of life, but depth of life.” It’s a new year. We can start now to search our heart to see what we find inside.

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