A Ten Year Snapshot of Your Life
by David Johnson
. . . and the clergyman stood in his pulpit looking out at his flock and asked, “how will you spend the last ten years of your life?” Could you realistically answer this question?
Remember, this isn’t a tithe, it is a summary, or maybe a wrap-up of a life invested. Nobody knows where our last ten years will take us, and most us don’t want to know what those years may be like. Like many before us, our last ten years may be defined by the buzz and whir of life-sustaining medical devices, or daily searches in a vacant mind for just one viable and recent memory. Or, maybe, in our last ten years we might be able to impress on the upcoming generation, the importance of good ethics, unconditional love, and still another life well-lived.
If you had a ten year segment of your life to choose, what ten year period of your life would best demonstrate your faith or spirituality?
Would the joy, boundless energy and innocence of your first ten years comprise your happiest memory? Would that productive ten year segment between your forties and fifties be the most noteworthy and memorable? Or, would a sober and lucid postmortem of the sum-total of your life’s lessons and experiences complete your brief legacy?
Someday we will all reach a point in our lives where we must decide what factors we would like to choose in order to define our signature and the quality of our earthly existence. If we don’t consciously choose, there will always be someone waiting to write our epitaph, and hopefully they will truly know us, and be kind.
The mark we leave on this earth might be no larger than a grain of sand, or it may constitute a virtual mountain. The imprints we leave on the souls of others around us will live much longer, and better define us as time rushes in to fill our void.
I would like to believe that nobody is likely to judge us as harshly as we would judge ourselves. Each of us is somehow flawed, and most of us know our own flaws all too well. Some of us spend our life’s energy concealing them while others dedicate their efforts to correcting them. The severity of our problems is dependent upon how we ‘hold’ them.
I look at the most valued ten years of my life as the “daybreak after the storm.” The scramble and scurry are over, much of our energy is spent, and we can now bask in the afterglow of those things we did right, and try not to wither in the shadow of what we might have done wrong. I think that we will be defined by neither. It’s fighting the fight that counts – win or lose.
Like most of us, my life is a pleasant blur; it went by so quickly that I spent so much time living it, that I almost failed to savor the journey. . .