Friday, January 30, 2015


Birthdays cause me to reflect. Mine comes every Groundhog’s Day. Kind of like the movie. Anyway…I’m not a kid anymore. I think I was the last person to realize and accept this. Based on my age and the age most of my grandparents died, it’s halftime for me. So it’s time to take a break, evaluate, and plan for the second half.

Life’s been good so far. I think somebody wrote a song with that title. Twenty-two of the years have been spent in the classroom. Life’s major learnings haven’t come from classrooms or books but from life itself. I’m discovering, the more I learn the less I know. 

I’ve held hundreds of new babies and seen dozens of people die. You can’t see such things without reflecting on the time God gives us between those events. Here is my halftime speech to myself:

Lake Zorinsky during a mid-morning winter run

Don’t let fear overwhelm you. You have missed too many shots because you haven’t taken them. Don’t be stupid and gamble, but take some risks. Don’t be afraid of failing either. Failing has more to do with not trying than not succeeding. Most all successes are at the end of a road paved with set-backs.

Each day you have many choices how to invest your time and energy. You usually won’t choose between right and wrong, but good and better. Sometimes you will need to say “no” to good things so that you can say “yes” to better things.

And those better things are God and your family and friends. Spend time and energy with the people you love the most. Give your life to them and receive life from them. Spend time and energy doing what you enjoy doing most. Work hard, but make things like rest and play and idleness and exploring part of your life. 

And spend time with God. You are His beloved. This relationship will help you with every other relationship and all other areas of your life. God will form you into a person who is more balanced, more focused, more centered, and more at peace. Plus, your relationship with God is the only relationship you will have that will last forever. 

Accept God’s grace. It is a gift. Be more loved by God and loving to yourself and others. Live as one forgiven by God and forgiving of others. Forgive yourself too. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up over them. Treat others like you want to be treated. Listen to understand and not to respond. Be patient. Be kind. Don’t let anger get the best of you.

Be yourself. Don’t try to be somebody you are not. Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Don’t think the past or current scenes of your life make up the entire movie. Keep writing the script of your once-to-be-lived and never to be repeated life. Enjoy the second half and finish strong. 

The best is yet to come…


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