8/17/15

... do it TODAY!

"Love is all you need" is how the old song goes ... and while that my not be entirely true, and I had a completely different post written in my mind to go with the "love" theme I posted on the "My Journey 139" Facebook page, it's the song in my head right now.

While "love" might not be "all you need", it sure is an important part of living!

Tonight I went to the local funeral home for the visitation of a former neighbor, a friend, a classmate. She died in her sleep. She was only 50 years old.  If you are 16 and reading this, that makes her sound ancient. If you are 75 and reading this, she's young enough to be your daughter. If you are somewhere in between, you are thinking, wow, 50 isn't that old!

So, what does visiting the funeral home and my neighbor/friend/classmate have to do with love?

Everything actually!

As I stood in line, it was hard not to remember being there myself almost 4 years ago. It was hard not to remember the mixture of emotions that are felt when your family is the one that is being visited. It was hard not to see Rickey laying there, not my friend. It was hard to see her Dad & Mom grieving.  It was hard to see her sisters and children and husband and grandchildren grieving. It was just plain hard. I had a moment where I felt the room spinning, it was a surreal feeling.  I've been to the funeral home before. I get it. Life has a beginning and it has an ending, all written by God before our days are even begun here on earth {Psalm 139:16}. Yes, I get all that. Yet tonight's visitation hit me hard. Not sure why? Maybe because tomorrow is Rickey's Birthday, his 4th in Heaven. Maybe because I'm myself grieving the loss of friendships that came about because I got remarried too soon in the eyes of some. Maybe because I saw her parents and family grieving, and could actually relate and feel their pain. I'm not sure, but I do know that God allowed those feelings. Not so I would doubt his sovereignty, that I've never done, but maybe so I could see things more clearly. Maybe so I could see how important relationships are. Maybe so I could sit down and write this post, because maybe, just maybe it might change one life or one family. Maybe.

So, here goes. After I left the funeral home I got into my car and had a good cry. As I drove home I prayed. And I felt God telling me how important it is to live life with no regrets. How it really is so important that we "Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry." Ephesians 4:26b I felt the need to blog about how important love REALLY is and how relationships do matter. Even the messy ones. Even the ones that have hurt you. Even the ones that you don't want to make right. Even the ones that don't have "warm fuzzies" anymore. Even those that have grown apart and have grown cold. Even those who "rub you the wrong way". Even, even, even ....

We will all die someday, "It is appointed to men once to die" Hebrews 9:27. Those we love, and those we like and those we have grudges with will all die someday.You will die someday. If that day is today, and you have let the sun go down on your anger for a day, or two or ten {or ten years ...} you won't get another chance. Please, today, be the first! Be the first to say I'm sorry. Be the first to forgive. Be the first to forget. Be the first to move on. Make today be the first day of the rest of your life, letting go of bitterness and anger. Let the other person know that the past really is past and you love them TODAY and you'll love them TOMORROW and each day after. It's their choice if they want to accept it, but you'll be free. Free to love them and to let go of the baggage you were carrying. And, maybe, just maybe, you'll release them in the process as well!

My guess is that in many cases, picking up from today, and loving again is all that it takes. The past probably doesn't have to be re-hashed. The old hurts and the old anger, bitterness, un-forgiveness, don't have to all be laid out on the table and "fixed" before you can move on {sometimes that is not the case, but often I do believe it is}. I have seen for myself that lives can be changed just by being willing to look forward not back. To choose to love again, and to move on, letting bygones be bygones. 



Won't you try it? Won't you be the one to make the first move? Won't  you be the one to love again? Pick up that phone, make that call, type that text, send that Facebook message, send that e-mail, write that card! Whatever it takes, just do it! don't stand at someone's graveside with a heart full of regret for what "should have been", make things right today, for your sake, for their sake, for God's sake! 

To those reading this who I have wronged in any way, I'm asking your forgiveness. If I hurt you, I'm sorry. I do believe I can honestly say that I don't remember a time in my life that I intentionally caused someone pain "just for the fun of it". I know that there are those I've not seen eye to eye with on issues, or who I've hurt by actions, reactions, or non-actions. Please forgive me. Let's let today be the first day of the rest of our lives, let's move forward to the future in love, let's not hold grudges, and someday have to say "if only".

Take a moment. Pray about it. Listen to God. Is he telling you to make it right with someone? Don't turn your face from that today, take a step out in faith, trust God to do a work that is bigger than you. Don't let the sun go down on your anger for one more day because you don't know if you'll get one more day!

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