When I was in my teens, I was invincible. I knew everything and was fully convinced that I was going to live forever.
When I was 20, I was educated. I now knew that I did not know everything, but at least I could access information. . . . and I was still planning on living forever.
When I was 30, I was more educated yet less informed. The books did not prepare me for the things that I was seeing, both in my practice and in my life. People were real. Books, tapes, CDs and lectures were theoretical. And worse, I was having doubts about whether or not I was going to live forever.
When I was 40, I was open. What I knew and had experienced was a minute fraction of Life and Her precious mysteries. In fact, “minute fraction” was probably an over-estimate. And worst of all, I realized that I was not going to live forever. In fact, probably half my life was over and that was of course, a huge assumption.
Now that I am less than 3 years short of 50, I am becoming something that I never would have guessed. I am becoming alive; that is, I am beginning to realize that each moment of life is a treasure and each experience a gift. I won’t live forever but I am living now.
30 years ago, I was too busy doing to notice the limitless gifts life was offering. The smell of freshly cut grass on a baseball diamond. The smile from my father who would only be around 2 more years. The act of waking up to another day of opportunity and challenge.
20 years ago, I was too involved in stuff of life, to notice life itself. Too involved in my practice, radio and TV shows. Too involved in building for the future. Too involved in the daily actions which were more acts-of-avoiding-life to appreciate the fortuitous chances to help others.
A few years back, I was beginning to sense a change. A seed was planted that only now is beginning to sprout. My goals and dreams now carry the taglines, “. . . sharing with others” or “. . .appreciating even the small things, because there really are no small things.”
The poet Andrew Marvell once said, “But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near. ” If you listen closely Father Time has much to share. He never uses words or phrases like, “do it later” or “when I retire then I will do. . . .” or “Tomorrow. . . ”
I may never be friends with Father Time but at least now, I can hear Him.