Hi folks, hoping all is well with you and yours. Seems like every time I sit down to write this column it's raining again. If it's still happening during our next drought, I might have a money maker on my hands. Unfortunately, my airboat is in the shop, but I did manage to hook up an old ceiling fan to the back of an inner tube and I'm getting around just fine.
As I sit here between downpours, with the dogs fast asleep on their pillows, the house is very quiet. All I hear is the sound of our windchimes softly ringing and the persistent, almost annoying, ticking of one of our clocks. Thought about getting rid of it, but it's a constant reminder that time waits for no one and that every second that passes is gone forever. FYI; one year contains 31.5 million seconds, so, if you live to be 80, that equals...huh...a whole lotta seconds.
Since accepting Christ I've made it a point to mindfully appreciate every moment I have, as he gave me a second chance at life (pun intended), as undeserving as I was. While it's wise to work hard, play hard and enjoy life, occasionally we take the time we've been given for granted and squander it away. We're human, it happens, but hopefully we won't waste too much of it, ‘cause it ain't comin’ back!
Speaking of time passing, last night I dreamt about Eloise the first time in the four and a half months since she passed away. How dare she go hang out with God while I'm still here working through this mess? I wonder how many widowed people haven't had that thought? In the dream, she had been diagnosed with cancer and resolved to do everything she could naturally before accepting medical treatment. As I'm sure most of you recall from her writings, physical and mental health through prayer, diet, exercise and alternative medicine was one of her main focuses. She had gone through several operations (before we met), and coming close to death on one occasion had left her fighting fear and anxiety over her physical wellbeing. With God’s help, I thought she learned to handle it pretty well. While not being opposed to traditional medicine, we both believe that (especially as Christians), we owe it to God and to ourselves to take care of what he has given us, the best we're able to. Good stewardship, anyone?
The dream made me realize, even more, that if Eloise had been diagnosed with a condition that required surgery and living off of medication, it would have destroyed her quality of life. That's just not how she wanted to live. I literally thank God every day that he answered our prayers and didn't let her suffer through a long-term illness. My prayers go out to all of you that are or have gone through such an ordeal. Please keep our cousin Kathy in your prayers as she's fighting cancer while Doris (Mama Caruso) is helping take care of her. Two strong, godly women, I believe everything will work out just fine, thanks Lord!
In the last article I was saying how the decisions and choices we make now will affect our future. It brought to mind the midterm elections currently going on. While I've never been overly political, I do thank God that we live in a country where we have the right to choose who governs over us, I know a lot of people around the world wish they had the same opportunity. Our government was designed as a system of checks and balances, where the two parties could work together for our benefit, but now seems more like a childish street brawl, winner taking all. Having a bit of a utopian mindset, I still think the government and the candidates we vote into it are hired to serve the people, not lord over them. I believe in taxes, for building infrastructure and taking care of its citizens, not the abuse of them. I believe we have the right to protect ourselves as individuals and as a country. Should we secure our borders? Do you lock your doors at night? Of course we should but our whole system needs many changes and revisions.
We've seen a big decline in our morals, integrity, honesty and just good old fashioned manners and respect for each other. As Einstein put it, “the destiny of civilized humanity depends more than ever on the moral forces it is capable of generating.” Our great country is sliding down a slippery slope, sacrificing God for individual desires. God is not a piece of the puzzle, but the box the puzzle comes in. One nation under God or just one nation going under? Please cast your vote with the future of this country, our children and grandchildren in mind over the mindless us vs them politics going on, cause we all want and need a great place to live!
As our pictures scroll across the monitor screen, one just came up of Eloise squatting down to pet our dog, Hazel. She's a basset hound/dachshund mix and one of the sweetest, most docile and affectionate dogs we've had. Sadly, I had to put her down this week. She was 16 years old, blind, deaf and had quit eating. I couldn't stand to see her suffer. As I sit here looking out at her empty dog house, while still grieving the loss of Eloise, the tears are flowing hard. As we all journey through this life, living, loving and losing, we have to remember that this is part of Gods plan. Even though it doesn't always make sense to us and isn't easy to get through, it is temporary and not the end of the road. I have faith and confidence in my creator and savior, Jesus, that his plan is for our good and not harm, even though it's sometimes very painful. So, as you walk out your journey through this life, live it with everything thing you've got. We've each been given only a certain amount of time here, so please try to remember that every second counts.
Until next time, love you guys, Eric