I watched him sing in the church choir this past Sunday. An 80-year-old man with terminal cancer. Standing there. Quite possibly in pain. In the sunset of his life.
I didn't cry. But I was right there, on the edge. The man is my good friend's father, so later that day I texted her and told her how seeing her dad had moved me. She responded, "He is the epitome of 'in all things, choose joy.'"
Have you ever wondered how some people are able to do that? As a general practice, I don't compartmentalize very well. At church on Sunday, we read this:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6
Don't be anxious about anything? Hmmm. In the back of my mind, the worries churn. And here's what I've noticed about that:
Worry makes me feel like I have all the time in the world. I not only assume I have tons of time left here, but obsessing on the negative makes me feel like I do. When I look up, here is what I see:
Dillon is losing teeth.
And Cate is sprouting some.
The fall season is here, and this is how we celebrate.
The moments are fleeting. True. Funny how focusing on the good things makes me more aware of that. But here's something else, something important I've realized about all of these blessings:
I don't believe I'm entitled to them. But I do believe I'm worthy.
I'm worthy of joy. I'm worthy of peace. I'm worthy of my own version of happiness. I don't know where the sense of worthiness comes from, and why it seems more accessible to some than others. But I can pinpoint times in my life, at critical moments of decision, where I decided that I was indeed, worthy.
We're all worthy. But we have to choose. We have to be willing to accept it, and willing to do the work.
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8
Maybe this kind of work isn't as difficult as we think.