I said no to a really good opportunity that pretty much fell into my lap.
It looked good. It appeared lucrative.
Several years ago, my family and I had set out on a brief weekend trip to visit my extended family in Reno. Having been in Texas for my grandmother’s memorial service the week prior when Lent began, I wasn’t in the frame of mind to tackle something to give up. The time with family to honor my grandmother was rich and bittersweet; I was still emotionally raw.
I’m no humbug, but I have to admit that I occasionally have trouble enjoying Christmas.
I’ll admit changing the station when “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” croons from the radio, as sometimes it just makes me angry.
For our family, December is often one of the hardest months. All the pressures of gifts, coupled with illness, together with the fact that I’m married to a high school basketball coach make the holiday season a bit of a trial for me.
No matter who you are, I’m willing to bet you struggle with what I call “three A’s.”
Just when you think you’ve got life figured out, or you got today’s check list done, sneaky Satan will up the ante by suggesting to you that perhaps you need to worry and be anxious, or that you should look to others for approval, or that the people you care most about have really abandoned you emotionally.
I recently read a great blog post by Michael Hyatt on the problem of drifting away from your life’s focus. It reminded me that not only can we drift away from our life plans–work, family, creative endeavors, for example–we can also drift greatly from God, and quite possibly, the two go hand-in-hand.
What does it look like when we drift from God? Is this perhaps one of the biggest ways or areas we drift from in our lives? Perhaps when we recalibrate ourselves to be in tune with our Savior, then setting our life’s goals and priorities become that much more clear.
It’s no small task to wait faithfully (and patiently) for God’s timing in your life; when to get married, when to start a new career, when to buy a house, when to move, when to give up, when to say ‘no,’ when to start over–the list is perpetually long, and most of us wrestle with our confidence in the Lord’s timing and our understand of it at one point or another.
The story of Harold Hill, Marion Paroo, and all the townspeople of River City, Iowa in the classic music by Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man is one of near disaster and certain redemption. What could have ended with tar and feathering, lost money, and broken dreams in fact, ended in love, forgiveness, and changed hearts and attitudes towards, well, traveling salesmen among other things.
My grandmother practically lived to write thank you notes, or so it seemed. Upon arriving at her memorial service at her senior residence this past February, the music director, David, who played several hymns during the small gathering, shared after the service that he had never received so many thank you notes, and so many from one person.
It’s never too late to make a new friend, or to visit someone you love and make lasting memories, or so I learned. It might seem that by the time you’ve landed in a senior residence facility you might have made all the friends you’re going to make in this life. But this wasn’t true for Elaine and Betty, who met eight years ago when they moved next door to one another at Brookdale-Arlington (formerly Town Village), a senior living community, in Arlington, Texas.
Here we are at another year, the clock still ticks onward, seconds lead to minutes, which add up to hours, days and weeks. Although most of civilization aims to focus on accomplishments and goals for the New Year, how would it look differently if we were to measure our lives in terms of overcoming failures?