“Why is it that we focus so much time and attention on the first and the last…the beginning and the end? We make these bookmarks such momentous occasions that we somehow lose the sacredness and the importance of that precious time in between. We don’t view these middle days to hold the same meaning, yet without them we’d have nothing to mark these other milestones with…” Kelly Carrington
We celebrate new babies and new marriages. We gather to reflect on a life lived as a person passes away. In sports, there is nothing that generates excitement like Opening Day or the Super Bowl. People line up at midnight to watch the first showing of a new movie, or to buy the latest gizmo. The first and the last are the markers for our lives.
We spend so much time and effort trying to get things accomplished to achieve the next milestone. We get caught up in the daily grind, set goals and try to get ahead. As singer/ songwriter Mark Schultz would say, I am “running just to catch myself”. It takes a special occasion to step back and put our priorities into focus.
Kelly is right; it is the everyday that makes the milestones mean so much. This past weekend my grandparents celebrated 60 years of marriage. There are a lot of ups and downs, trials and triumphs, laughter and tears that go into 60 years of marriage. In a lot of ways, May 23rd was just another day. In one way, it was very special. What made it special were the 21,914 days that came before it. The days filled with laundry and dishes, hockey games and band concerts, Monday mornings and Saturday nights. What memories come to mind when you look back at 60 years together? I am sure it is a mix of treasured everyday moments.
Kelly wasn’t writing to commemorate my grandparent’s wedding anniversary. The quote is from a news blog she used to keep friends and family up-to-date on her older sister Melissa’s battle with cancer. Melissa’s health was deteriorating very quickly, and Kelly couldn’t help but reflect that life is about the sacredness and importance of every day.
Every day is a gift from God. How often do I take that for granted? How often do I choose something of little importance to focus my attention on instead of squeezing every last ounce of goodness out of the day? Sure, we need time to do something mindless; time for ourselves just to relax. I know, however, I am not going to look back at my life and wish I had spent more time watching Big Bang re-runs and playing PlayStation.
God called Melissa home on Sunday. Her life will be celebrated, not because she reached the end, but because she left her mark on those she loved. May we all strive to love like there is no tomorrow so we cherish each day – the beginnings, the ends, and the everydays.