Last night Josie and I attended the memorial service of a former pastor of her church. Josie is friends with the family and she shared stories with the family of how Pastor Roel Betia touched her life. It was both a sad and happy occasion for the family and friends. Sad because he will be missed greatly. Happy because he is now with Jesus and is no longer suffering from sickness and disease. We thank God for his life and the legacy he left for his family and friends to remember him by.
Whenever we are faced with the death of a loved one it gives us the time to reflect on life and death. Life is short and many times we get wrapped up in the things of life that distract us from what really matters. Your family matters. Don't ever forget that. Many times we neglect our family because we are chasing our dreams of a better life and forget that your family is part of that better life.
Getting that next big promotion at work really doesn't matter if you are neglecting your wife or husband and your children. Spend more quality time with your wife or husband. Take time to get to know your children. Do you even know the favorite color of your daughter or your son? Do you know their favorite song, or their favorite book or movie? When was the last time you sat down with your children and read a book to them and then discussed what was the important lesson to learn from what was just read?
Another lesson that I learned is that the memories you give your family matter. What memories are you leaving your wife or husband and your children? Are they good memories or bad memories? We all go through challenging times in our life. Even through the bad times we can leave everlasting good memories of having worked together to get through the bad times. Let those challenges empower you and let you be the one to teach those lessons to your children on how to overcome life's challenges.
Take time to slow down and enjoy life. In America we live in a fast paced society where we want it fast, and we want it now. We rush to get up in the morning, rush to eat breakfast and then rush off to work. Then we spend time in rush hour traffic as we rush to work hoping to get there in time. We rush through our day working to make someone else happy and rich while we are stressed and getting burnt out in the process. Most of our relationships and friendships are only temporary, yet we do more to please them than we do to help make our family happy.
We then rush home exhausted so we can rush to eat dinner and then watch the negative news on TV that really doesn't matter. Does this vicious cycle look familiar?
Here in the Philippines life is much different. They live a much slower paced life that includes family relationships and actually knowing their neighbors. Life here is much less stressful and their philosophy is family first. Yes, they are hard working people, but they put their family first. They have a philosophy that if your work is not completed today, you can complete it tomorrow, no worries.
Yesterday morning Josie and I went to the bank and we arrived a few minutes before it opened. There were 68 people in line ahead of us. How did I know that? I had number 1069, so that is how I know. No one in the bank was in a hurry for anything. I am not good at waiting in long lines. As we were sitting and waiting for our number to be called, I was complaining to Josie about having to wait to do a simple transaction that at any bank in America would take all of about 2 - 3 minutes, yet here I am having to wait in a long line. I reminded her that I was losing money every minute I sat here doing nothing.
Thankfully Josie was not persuaded by my complaining and just smiled at me and said it will be all right. While I was reflecting on the moment it suddenly dawned on me that me waiting really didn't matter. What mattered most was that I was spending time getting to know Josie better and having a great conversation while waiting. Quality time with someone you love matters most.
I wanted to share this with you and encourage you to reflect on what matters most in your life. Don't take life too seriously, take time to pray and thank the Lord for what you have, forgive others quickly, live life to the fullest and laugh often!
Happy in the Lord,
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"What you do for others, God will do for you." - Dr. Mike Murdock