Life by the Calendar

I wanted to write today, but I didn’t have a clue where to start. I sometimes go to a local Starbucks where in the midst of the noise and chaos my brain seems to go into high gear. As I was adding cinnamon and artificial sugar to my Starbucks hot green tea, I noticed a young couple sitting at a table in front of me. They were looking at the calendar on her phone, which displayed all of 2018. I had my starting point!

Arguments can be made for and against knowing our future. I will come back to that in a moment. My wife preferred to put off unpleasant tasks. Things she liked to do would come first. I am the opposite. I can’t relax and enjoy myself until my tasks are complete. On our date Saturdays she would want to clean house when we came back. I needed to clean the house first so I could enjoy our time together on our date and when we came home. Cleaning house after a nice date didn’t sound romantic.

Neither of us was extreme in our preferences, but as I look back I wish I could have been a little more like her. She enjoyed life more than I did and do. I was recently told I have the mind of a doctor or an engineer. Risking a gross over simplification of those careers, both are problem solvers and both look through the lenses of prevention, correction, and protection. Yes, that is who I am!

Calendars are useful to plan our day, our week, our year, and to an extent, our life. I keep a desk calendar and a phone calendar, but if I have learned anything in the last 20 months, I have learned that life can’t be scripted in advance. The unexpected, the unplanned, and even the unwanted events are often the unforgettable hurts and blessings that are forever tattooed on our hearts and in our minds.

Allow me to mention a few: a grandchild’s laughter, smile, and sloppy wet kisses; a grown son’s and daughter’s tears and hugs to soothe their father’s broken heart; the random call, text, or blog comment; the realization that there are some things that are beyond a doctor’s or engineer’s mind to be able understand, fix, or control, and realizing after a time that life’s unscripted moments can be the most painful and the most blessed. Life is good, even when it is not.

Since I don’t know my future, I have one alternative - to live each day as it comes and as it is, a precious gift from God. As I close I want to offer something for you to consider. Keep your calendar, live responsibly, but don’t fear to go off script or to color outside the lines. Trust God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength as you hold those you love close. Time, our time, our life, is a precious commodity that has an unknown expiration date. Sue, thank you for life lessons you are still teaching me. I will see you again on my expiration date.

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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