Looking Back As We Look Forward
Columnist David Brooks stumbled onto a collection of autobiographies written by the Yale class of 1942 for its 50th class reunion. He said that the most common lament in the stories came from those who worked for the same company all their lives and now realized that their lives were boring. Another lament expressed in the autobiographies came from those who wished they had been more willing to take risks in life. On the other side of the equation it seems that none of the people who did take risks and make life-changing choices regretted their decisions, even when those decisions ended in failures.
A final note from the collection of life reflections was that those who sensed a particular calling in their life were filled with passion and conviction. One person wrote, “I have been put on earth to be a painter”. (New York Times, October 27, 2011)
As we begin a new year the questions for each of us are obvious and obviously important.
· As you reflect on your own life would you regret having lived a boring life? Be honest about it, don’t go for the easy or pat answer. It may just be that those of us who would answer “no, I didn’t live a boring life” without hesitation may just be the very ones who in fact lived the most boring life.
· Do you take risks? I remember as a young minister in training (a long, long time ago that seems like just yesterday) hearing Paul Crow say “It is better to fail at having tried too much than to succeed at having tried too little”. I thought it was brilliant then and I think it is even more brilliant today. I hope I haven’t tried too little.
· Do you have a passion in life? I hope you do. What is your passion? Is your passion really a passion or is it just a flash in the pan that comes and goes.
It’s too late to change last year. It’s too late to change what we have done or not done with the years that have come and gone in our life. But…and this is a very big and very important but…it’s never too late to change what we are going to do with the rest of our life.
· Live an exciting life. Don’t let boredom and predictability smother your soul.
· Take risks. Live on the edge. Do something different. Don’t always play it so safe.
· Make your passion something out of your own heart and soul. Give way to it, totally and without hesitation. I look forward to sharing a passionate love for the Lord and for the church together this coming year. Happy New Year as you look forward.
D. Robert Chance