They come slowly when you’re a child. They speed up like a fast-moving train as the years tick by. The clock moves at the same pace, but life seems to go quicker while the years of my life increase.
Birthdays. Celebrations of life. Years experienced. Lessons learned.
I would not want to live it over again, but I would not take anything for what life has taught me.
The number of birthdays I’ve had astonishes me. They are more than my mother and my maternal grandmother got to enjoy. And while I am not nearing death by any means, I recognize that well over half my life has been lived. I don’t say my life is half over, I say it’s been lived. For living is what I’ve done.
I’ve live much joy and much sorrow. I’ve lived successes and failures. I’ve lived in plenty and in need. I’ve lived with loved ones near and long, hard separations.
I get to choose to live or not. Some people seem to be dying years before they ever take their final breath, looking at their lives as if they are in a long dark tunnel headed for doom. Am I going to choose to live the rest of my days or choose to start dying right now?
A friend reminded me recently of a quote from the movie Shawshank Redemption. Andy, one of the main characters, was incarcerated 26 years for a crime he didn’t commit. Even behind the walls and bars of prison, he said, “I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying.”
I plan to get busy living the rest of my days. Why not? Each day is a gift. I will open it in the morning and find grace enough for whatever comes. I will look for joy. I will offer love. I will give thanks to God. I will serve in ways I am able. I will work and play and rest. I will laugh and cry. I will invite people into my heart, my life.
For as long as the Lord above gives me breath, I choose to live the rest of my life.