Celebrate just being alive and being able to see and hear and share and appreciate every blessing every day. This is the only life we get. Don’t waste it complaining about things you cannot change. Get busy embracing each good thing and each good person each and every day.
“With God, life itself is celebration enough.” Suzy Brown, Author – Radical Recovery: Transforming the Despair of Your Divorce into an Unexpected Good
Several years back I spent some time with my Dad just before Christmas. Just being with him I tried to soak up some of his wisdom and his grace. We went Christmas shopping and out to dinner. We ate breakfast with his tablemates at his senior living apartment complex and gave them each a special gift and gifts for a few of his helpers. We wrapped presents. I had bought copies of my favorite Christmas story called Star Mother’s Youngest Child, and as part of my present to my dad I was helping him give them as his gifts to his grandchildren. (He was the youngest child in his family) I read the story to him aloud because he can’t see. He liked the story and wanted to write something in the front of each book. I asked him what he wanted to say to each grandchild, and he wanted to convey this message: “I want you to know what a special person you are and that life is a precious gift.” He still says with deep conviction, “Sometimes I look around and wonder how my life could have been so blessed.” That’s what I want to say when I’m ninety. I hear in the MDRcommunity all of hurt and sadness that is going on about the holidays. Traditions are in shambles. Some of us won’t be with our own children. The new girlfriend is spending time with our grandchildren. Desperate heartache all around. I understand it, because I’ve been there. But I’ve learned some things. In the midst of it, I want you to understand in a brand new way what a gift life is. You should each get a copy of Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago and read it. It can be very difficult reading, but it will help you weather the storm and the inconveniences of your new life. It will change your view of the big picture and what you’re doing here and how much we all compain about things that really don’t matter. Here’s something Solzhenitsyn learned through his suffering which he says is necessary to deepen our spiritual being:
“Live with a steady superiority over life — do not be afraid of misfortune and don’t yearn after happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn’t last forever and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. It is enough if you don’t freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don’t claw at your insides. If your back isn’t broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart — and prize above all else in the world those who love you and wish you well.”
Or, remember, as my father said to those who love him, “You are a very special person, and life is a precious gift.”