After fighting the flu and respiratory illness for several weeks, I made a re-commitment to continue to live fully alive. Now that I have recovered I am convinced that the physical, mental and spiritual strength I have worked so hard to develop was invaluable helping fight the virus that plagued me. I will not sit on the sidelines. I don’t want to lose sight of the goal that has driven my life since my first memories. I’ve asked my friends to hold me to my promise that no matter what my circumstances I will keep running until I break the tape that separates this world from the next. One of those friends gave me a coin I carry with me. The coin is imprinted with the words, “Be encouraged. Finish well.”
Live with Gusto
In 1981, the beautiful film On Golden Pond was made starring Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn. The movie followed this older, deeply-in-love couple as they spent what could have been one of their final summers on Golden Pond. I enjoyed the movie, but I wished there had been more life in it. All the hugging and kissing and conversation was great, but I wanted to see a water fight. I wanted to see Henry throw Katharine off the end of the dock. Maybe a canoe race or a rock-skipping contest, something that showed that these people were still in gear.
I know! I know! Their love sustained them. I value that. But oh how I wish the last scene had been filmed right after the pond froze over. I can see the sunset as it cast its red glow onto the ice. I wanted to see those two skating as fast as they could, clumsily holding hands, barely keeping their balance as the sound of their laughter and skate blades echoed across the ice. I wanted to see them fall and slide spinning across the frozen surface with squeals of delight, then fade to black.
As you skate onto Golden Pond, don’t do it timidly.
Laugh whenever you can
Throw someone off the dock
Find a cause bigger than yourself
Pray for the impossible
Dust off that Schwinn
Get to know someone with a piercing
Spread the good news of God’s love with boldness
Don’t show anyone your scars
Nap, but not while driving
Learn something new
At 65, I identify with what Robert Wickman said, “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming—-Wow…What a Ride!”
How would you describe your life journey to this point? What do you want it to be?