Doing the Dash

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I’ve read with interest all the blogs, tributes, self-righteous judgements, and news articles about Robin Williams and his passing. Many emotions have played on my life’s strings, the two strongest are disgust and profound sadness.

I feel disgust for those who think they know Robin’s final destination. AS if they had received an email from God. Like they had somehow gotten the gift of reading hearts and minds. When I read these condemning and judgmental blogs I am reminded of Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. While the Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.” The other man was honest before God. He was broken and he knew it. 

When will we stop it? When will we take a hard look at the mirror and judge ourselves? Abba knows, that alone will take us a lifetime. There won’t be any time left to judge others. Jesus Christ gave us two commandments: to love God and to love others as ourselves. That’s it! I have a word to all who believe in the God of Jesus Christ: HE is the one who makes the final call.

I also feel sad and loss every time I see Robin William’s face on my television screen or his beautiful blue eyes staring at me from magazine covers. I’ve never met him, nor did I ever expect to. But what I did expect was that he’d always be around. And I had no idea how he suffered. How many people do I take for granted like that? How oblivious am I to those who are suffering? These thoughts sober me.

One thing I’ve realized, Robin did a lot with his dash—life between his birth and death dates. Even in his pain, he brought laughter and compassion. He used his talents to encourage our troops and those who suffered debilitating illnesses. From the testimony of others I’ve learned he did his dash with love and humility.  It isn’t easy to do what he did for others while being tormented himself. This gives me pause. This makes me want to make my dash count for others even when life isn’t convenient or fair. 

Thank you Robin Williams. Your life truly made a difference to many. I pray mine will do the same. 

 

 

Focus and Reframe

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Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.

~ Arthur Christopher Benson

A few weeks ago someone asked me what was the best thing that happened to me that day. I had to think and frankly, I couldn’t come up with one thing. How sad! My focus had been drilled on cares, worries, and how bad things were that I’d let all the good things go unnoticed. And there were good things. Oscar Wilde got it right when he wrote, If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want. What he is saying is, “Change your focus.” 

A ski instructor taught me to focus on where I want to go. If I’m zipping down a mountain and there are trees on either side of the trail, to focus on the middle, not on the trees, because if I did, I’d plow into them. That is a lot like life. If I focus on all that is wrong with life, I’ll plow right into dark thoughts and miss all that is good. Even worse, I’ll spread that darkness everywhere I go. 

Therefore, each day I make a mental note of at least one good thing that has happened. I have to say, focusing on the good reframes the bad and gives me perspective. After all, I may hate the things going on around me, but what good is it to complain and get depressed. With a better frame of mind, I might just think of a way to make things better.