Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Little S & R Talk

Drinkers don't die of cirrhosis of the liver because of a few months of alcohol addiction. It's the accumulative effect of years of abuse. Smokers don't get lung cancer or emphysema from experimenting, but from decades of addiction to the drug called nicotine. Overweight folks don't keel over from a heart attack just because they're overweight, otherwise we'd have children dropping dead all over the country. It's the effect that it has on the body over a period of time that eventually catches up with you. AND IT ALWAYS DOES - IT'S JUST A MATTER OF WHEN!
These are classic sowing and reaping examples. But as I get older, I see the effect of accumulated poor decisions as a much broader thing than chemical or culinary abuse. What you sow through the years WILL eventually be reaped in your older years - the years that should be the most enjoyable, giving, wise, and thankful years of our lives. I have said on many occasions that I don't want to grow up and become a grumpy old man. I use to wonder how and why anyone could let that happen! I know how and I know why. It's from a lifetime of being negative, critical, selfish, and therefore, unhappy. There are no instant grouches, only self-made men and women who missed out on where joy in life comes from. It comes from giving. It comes from loving and being loved by people that God put in your life. When you realize that early enough, and you sow thankfulness and loving relationships, you reap a peace and joy in later years that your career, the shiny things, and the praise of man can never give you.
When you see a man or woman who has been around for over five, six, seven, or more decades, who can't even talk about how special their family and friends are without getting choked up and teary eyed, don't think of them as blubbery, maudlin, old folks living in the past. The truth is just the opposite. They are blessed in the present and thankful in their hearts that God helped them see what really counts in life - so now they can face the future - even if that future may not be much longer.
I've been in the same room with Grumpy and Happy. Not Snow White's mini-men, but brothers in Christ, who were reaping what they had sown in the earlier years of their lives. What are you sowing? Are you interested in lung cancer, cirrhosis, or heart attack? You will reap what you sow. Are you interested in being a blessing to those around you, spreading joy and love, and living close to God because of a thankful heart? You will reap what you sow.
As for me, I don't apologize for blubbering when I try to talk about family and friends. God's goodness overwhelms me and I can't help but be touched by the fact that "He's especially fond of me."


Deborah said...

Whew! Good one, Dad! I couldn't help but think about Mamaw--now there's a woman who is CERTAIN that her blessings (past and present) have come from God. Just look at that ageless smile she has!

elizabeth said...

I thought of Mamaw and Papaw, too. Thanks for your words, Dad. This is the kind of reminder I need on a daily basis because it is that important!

Donna said...

Wonderful, true words that do apply to both men and women. You and I will continue to strive to be those thankful, positive-outlook kind of people as we age together. Love you and love your thankful heart and spirit. :)