Whether you believe this or not, you control most of how your life is going.
We could really get into the weeds with points and counterpoints to that argument, right?
I’m not talking about status, finances, or even dumb luck. I’m talking how you perceive that life is treating you at the moment.
What do you see here?
I see the number “6” I’m sure you do too. Looks like a 6, and I’ve seen 6’s all my life. But, take your phone and give it a 180-degree spin (turn it upside down). All of a sudden, it’s a 9 (It works the same if you are on your laptop. Good luck if you are reading this on a desktop with a large monitor. Just trust me if you are still skeptical – it looks like a 9).
This isn’t anything spectacular. You knew that a 6 is a 9 upside down, especially if you’ve tried to catch someone cheating in Uno. The point is, to see it one way I needed a certain perspective. To see it another, that needed to change.
I am writing this at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday night, August 24th. Exactly 10 hours from now, we will have been without Kane for 5 years. 7:01 a.m. on 8/25/17, he was pronounced “expired” (actual word used). Hours without him turned into days that turned into weeks and months that has brought us here.
My selfish flesh thinks all the time about what he might look like now, how big would he be, and what his personality might have evolved to as we prepare for him to turn 8 years old this fall. It makes me feel sorry for myself all over again. Makes me angry that the rest of the world has seemingly moved on without a care. Makes me sad that our kids have been forever impacted. And makes me wish for something easier.
But, I have figured out over the years that it takes a different perspective. And, that I’m in charge of how life is going. Not that I always get that right or don’t have to remind myself of it.
I mentioned the time and date earlier for a purpose. Mainly the date. Selfish, negative me would wait until tomorrow to write about missing my son and all of the things we don’t have or will never get to experience without him. Instead, I want to remember August 24th.
I remember it as vividly as this morning. Being at the grassy soccer field to watch part of a match. Moving to the high school football field to watch the last of the freshman football game. Kane playing in the dirt with his friend O’Riley while Jaclyn and I watched and talked.
Going home and cleaning up before he laid with me on the couch for a few minutes. I can still feel his head going back and forth on my chest as we both face the TV before his bedtime. I remember him rolling over to give me one of his deep embraces before taking Jaclyn’s hand and heading off to bed for the last time.
Man, what a better way to mark five years without him! Remembering him, not mourning his absence.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable – if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise – dwell on these things.”
It’s so easy to not be able to take my mind off of someone that says mean or hurtful things about me or someone in my family.
It’s natural to get bogged down in things not going your way.
We tend to mire up over the inconvenient, the nagging, the painful, and even the tragic.
My plan is to remind myself each day to find things that fit into one of those categories Paul mentioned in that letter:
I pray that you can, too.
As we celebrate August 24th – I still miss you every day, buddy. See you soon.