January 28, 2019
Greetings from Urbana, Illinois, and welcome to the new people who are viewing this blog for the first times. I hope that it provides you with some food for thought and hopefully some help and comfort as you deal with life, which simply is not simple for any of us!
My dear friend is part of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, and their marvelous concert Saturday night included one of my favorite symphonies by Franz Schubert. Schubert, like Mozart, was a child prodigy who produced an amazing volume of work and then died tragically at age 31.
That experience engendered a lot of thought about longevity. Most of us want to live as long as possible, and we do what we can to take care of our health to add precious years. We believe that life comes from God and we are meant to cherish it as long as he wills it, something which is complicated by modern society’s emphasis on longevity.
However, does the length of a life have anything to do with it being productive, meaningful and happy? Should we wish that Schubert had lived to a ripe old age and composed much more music? Is there any guarantee that a longer life would have meant more music?
In this month of my son Josh’s birthday, when he could have been 39 rather than dying at age 33, some regret at the brevity of that life were part of my thoughts. But this week end, as I thought about Josh and many people, some of them much younger when they died, it became obvious to me that length of life has nothing to do with quality of life.
Just as our Lord accomplished His ministry and work on earth in 33 years, each of us can lead lives of worth in service to Him and each other within whatever time we are given. Valuing each day, valuing each other, valuing our relationship with God – all of those things need to be part of our daily awareness, our daily dedication to being the best we can be.
For those of you who are grieving, may your focus be on the time that your loved one did have here and on the love that person gave and was given. And let’s value every person we know, whether they are hours old or over 100 years old. God smiles on that kind of thinking.