Monday, August 18, 2014

Carpe Diem!

Are we really approaching the final days of summer? Doesn’t it seem like it should still be about the first part of July or the last week of June? Is it me, or did this summer fly by much too fast? Yesterday I asked my teen Sunday School class when school would be starting and was informed that it will resume in about 9 days. Wow!!! Then again, I think about everything that has been packed into the past 4 weeks, and time has definitely been marching on. In those 4 weeks, we attended my 35th (yikes!) high school class reunion, I helped direct a humorous, historical musical production for our community for the sesquicentennial celebration (150 years have flown by since our town was first settled), was shanghaied into helping for a couple of days at this year’s county fair (I didn’t realize how many people it takes to pull something like that together), went camping, attended what seemed like a plethora of family reunions, attended the famed Preston Rodeo with our youngest son and our daughter-in-law (she had never seen a rodeo before), helped them with a yard sale before they headed off to Pennsylvania for the next 4 years (he was accepted into med school in that location), hosted a family gathering or two for our clan, and went for some bodacious rides in our new Polaris RZR. (Love it—it’s so comfy while riding around in the nearby canyons.) We also picked huckleberries, played in the lake, went fishing a time or two, and raised a few tomatoes—the biggest ones I’ve ever coaxed into surviving a typical Bear Lake summer. (We still had snow storms in June . . . and it’s acting like it could freeze toward the end of August . . . yay . . .) In short—we’ve managed to cram in a ton of stuff during the few short weeks of summer. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling a tiny bit tired. =) But we’ve had a lot of fun, and we’ve spent precious time with family and friends. Isn’t that what summer is all about? =) Though the frantic pace is sometimes hard to keep up with, as I look back, there are few regrets. Pictures document all that we managed to accomplish and enjoy. And someday, when life slows down (yes, I’m rolling my eyes, too) I will attempt to organize those pictures for future viewing.

Perhaps Majorie Pay Hinckely said it best: “I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

We are indeed here to live, to do the best we can do, and to serve those around us as best we can. I suspect that part of our test is to see what we’ll do with the time that we have. Perhaps time means more to me now, since my little heart glitch. It’s made me prioritize a few things—and even though I still get talked into doing a bit more than I probably should on occasion, again, there are no regrets. Most of those items are acts of service—something I believe is important. In fact, I came across another thought the other day that pretty well sums up how vital those moments are in our lives:

“Jesus Christ said, ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’ (John 15:13) This doesn’t mean we have to die to show our love for our friends. We lay down our lives every time we put someone else’s needs before our own.  (And the ‘friends’mentioned in the scripture above can be understood to be everyone we meet, since Jesus also commanded us to ‘love one another.’) We lay down our lives through service. Church members have many opportunities to serve. We can do small acts of kindness for our neighbors, take part in community service, fulfill responsibilities in our local congregations, or contribute to the Church’s large-scale humanitarian efforts. These actions, whether great or small, let us feel the happiness of connecting with our brothers and sisters, and remind us that God often allows us to be the answer to someone else’s prayers.”   

So, go out and enjoy these final days of summer. Then look forward to fall and all the color that it brings into our lives. We are here to live and to make the most of each day that we’ve been given. It’s my hope that when I arrive at the pearly gates, I will do so in my RZR, my hair in an extreme wind-blown fashion, a camera around my neck that contains the proof of what I’ve been up to, huckleberries heaped in a large bucket to share with one and all, and a broad smile on my face. Definitely a little bit of heaven right there. =)

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