Today is all that matters…
How many things happened during the past 12 months, good or bad, that you worried about at the end of 2014? Life is funny like that. We spend so much time fretting about the things that might happen and we miss the joys that can be found in taking one day at a time.
No matter how much you want something, or a lot of things, from your past to be different, they are what they are. You cannot change a thing. You can’t take back that cruel thing you said to your husband or wife. You can’t alter the fact that your car was hit by a drunk driver. It was not your fault, but the dents are there none-the-less. You can never bring back to life those who have been taken from you.
And tomorrow? Why worry about things that might happen? Most of the things that we worry about never happen. Keep a log, or a diary, and write down each day what you are worrying about. Then, next January, review your worries and discover how much time and energy were wasted on things that never happened.
When I was a kid, there was a tin sign hanging in a country store in South Vandalia, New York. It read, “Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.” As a little boy, it took some mulling over in my mind, but a light went on when the meaning sunk in. Basically, I understood it to mean that today is it. Today is the day that you get to make choices that will have you looking back at 2016 with joy or with sadness. Today is the day that the Lord has made and you really should rejoice in it.
Christmas 2015 is behind us. We were reminded of the reason for the season. Jesus was born for us to have a way to see eternal glory. Sadly, many people replaced the Christ part of the holidays with a big “X”. To me, putting an X in place of Christ is like putting an X over all hope. Think of all the gifts that you got and gave on the 25th of December. How many of those gifts will even be remembered as you start the ritual over again for Christmas 2016?
Just before Christmas, my wife and daughter were shopping and a youngish girl, maybe 18 or 19, was trying to buy gifts for her little brother. She forgot her ID and the store clerk would not let her make her purchases. She checked and found that she did not have enough cash for the presents. She was made to feel embarrassed at the register, and ran from the store in tears. My wife and daughter caught up with her, talked with her for a bit, and gave her enough money to let her complete her shopping.
What a great lesson for all concerned. The young lady expressed her deep gratitude, and tried to explain that she was a real nice person. My wife told her to play it forward and each of the three women in that parking lot shared the real joy of Christmas. As Jesus said, the greatest law is love, and love won out during that parking lot exchange.
It is these moments that add fullness and joy to life. The biggest of the big screen TV’s cannot compare with the look of love that emanates from a rescued dog or cat. I know. We found a beautiful Airedale that was full of stink and wounds back in October. Today, I cannot come in the house from a long day of work or a trip to the mailbox that Mac doesn’t shower me with moans and howls and a wagging body. You would think that I was away to war for three years and came home to his full body greetings.
The moment. That is what counts. Pay a toll for someone, fill a gas tank or pick up a tab at a restaurant. The dollar cost is small when compared to the feelings of pure goodness that you will be blessed with instantaneously. Do these things without announcing them to the world and your joy will be even greater. People are inherently good, and at the same time, suspicious of kindness shown to them. Our world has become so cynical that it is hard to “play it forward”.
I have been blessed, with a wonderful family, a job that I truly love, working for people who are as dedicated to the families we serve at Calumet Park and Rendina and Calumet Park Funeral Chapel as I strive to be, and I enjoy better health than I deserve considering my Mountain Dew and salt diet.
Today matters. In each small or each big decision you are faced with today, reflect on the mistakes of yesterday and make your tomorrows the way you want them to be. Be kind to strangers and be kinder to family. Kids do not hear what you say. They listen to what you do. I pray that you allow God back into your life if you let him slip away, and I am happy for you who have found your way with the light that was turned on way back in the manger 2015 years ago. You have been given a great gift in your gift of free will. And with it comes great responsibility. We will all fail, over and over again. It does not matter. What matters is getting back up and doing your best. That is all that can be expected and that is all that God wants.
For info on preplanning, call 219-769-8803 and visit our website at calumetparkcemetery.com.
By Daniel Moran