I was feeling blue as we approached the holiday season. Apparently, so many Americans find it tough as we go through the holidays. My father passed away in September of 2000. Although he is gone, I am one of the luckiest men in the world for having had him in my life for so many years. I am also grateful for my mother. She always puts things into perspective. She asked me to change my focus and gave me some things to think about. For instance, If you can see, talk and walk, if you have friends, family, and opportunity, learn to appreciate that. Don’t go around complaining about what’s wrong. Change your focus. If you get stuck in traffic, just think about all the people that don’t have a car. Tough day at the office? Just think about all the people who don’t have a job. Instead of complaining that your hair is turning gray, be grateful that it’s not turning loose. For some of us, it’s too late. Staying grateful is the key to living life happily.
My dad often reminded me that we have a choice. Whatever is in your heart will eventually come out of your mouth. We can either complain or praise. Before his untimely departure, he asked this question: If you only had an hour to live, who would you call, what would you say and what are you waiting for? I don’t know a lot about theology, but the scripture says, life is like a vapor, we are here one moment and then we’re gone. Sometimes we live and act as if we are invincible, like we’re always going to be here. I guess we forget how fragile life really is. If we really want change, we can’t expect the government to do it. The church has to get back in line. Our city is fortunate enough to have good community leaders, a outstanding newspaper and editor, and great clergymen representing all denominations. I have learned to focus on the good, slow down, and appreciate what God has already given us. If you meditate on God’s goodness, he will take you places that you’ve never dreamed of, so give God his glory. The Lord giveth and taketh away.