Saturday, January 3, 2015

Train of events

The term used is chain of events yet the experiences I had over the past week felt more like a train moving and morphing than a static linking. 

The train's engine started on Christmas day.

I received a Christmas gift from my son of a framed picture of my mom that I took for a photography class 30 years ago.

She died three years ago and seeing the picture released memories and tears. She is remembered by my family who are alive now and may become a distance remembrance for the generations of our family to come. Maybe this photograph will help to preserve her in our family history.

I returned to work this past Monday to read an email announcing the death of a colleague, Amy. She was 51 years old and died on Christmas Eve. She left behind her husband and 17 year old daughter. Amy and I had conversations over the years about life and it's challenges. And writing this is not something I ever imagined. She had 25 years with our company and at the age of 55 she could have retired with a pension and medical benefits. I hope our company grandfather's her time in some way so her husband and daughter can receive those benefits. I hope she is not forgotten too quickly within the corporate walls. 

Last night I was watching the movie 'Conspiracy' about the assassination of President Lincoln. This took place in 1865, 149 years ago. No one from that time is alive today. And only those who gave something of historic value are remembered in our media of movies, pictures, books and magazines.

These events left me wondering about life's meaning. Why bother when all will be forgotten?

I prayed for some inspiration about my wondering. I asked to receive some insight at the Women's Insightful Hour meeting held on Tuesday afternoon. 

The topic of our Insightful meeting was the Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent Keith. All but two of these commandments were used by Mother Theresa as a prayer foundation. And many people attribute them to her.   

This morning just before woke up the scripture Isaiah 55 come into my mind. I google it and the title is "an invitation to an abundant life. The full verse is written below.

My summation of this train of events is our life has meaning and purpose in our day to day living. It may not be the stuff that makes it to the general population's memory through our media. It will, however, be a part of those we interact with each and every day. Just like my mom and Amy. 

We have the profound privilege to create love, joy and peace in every moment starting with ourselves and then with others, family and strangers. We have God's support of abundance in our creation process.

And in creating love, joy and peace in these moments we create an eternal memory that we will experience when we leave our earthly boundary.  As Isaiah tells us, "This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever."

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The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

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This morning I woke and Isaiah 55 came into my mind.
An invitation to an abundant life.
1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
 
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
 
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
 
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
 
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
 
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
 
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
 
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
 
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
 
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
 
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it,
 
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
 
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever."