Hanging On To the Good Times

Good TImes

This week Nan went through a surgery and while she was at the hospital my 93-year old father was admitted to another hospital for rapidly failing health. Yes, in the same day. Although Nan’s has turned out to be successful, I don’t expect it to be the same for my father. These are times when all the past squabbles mean nothing and the happy memories are cherished. This is one of them.

But the lesson to be learned here is to anticipate a day like this, and put the things you do today into perspective. Whatever you create in the here and now is what you will have to look back on. And you never know when “that day” will come.

We had prayerfully anticipated a good outcome for Nan’s surgery although there were some unknowns. But as anyone who has had a hospital procedure knows, you sign a lot of paperwork that reminds you of the scary reality – there is always a risk of things going badly.

Over my lifetime I have let anxiety rule some of my choices. I have not done things that would have created good memories for Nan and me. And because of my sinful nature I have created some bad ones, too. As I sat in the hospital waiting for the surgery to be finished I thought: “What if this was it? What if there were no more memories to be made?”

I think it is human nature to believe that you will always have enough time to do what you would want to do. But it’s a lie. You can miss it. Circumstances change. Health and energy fades. The years get away from you while you raise kids and go to work.

For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.  2 Corinthians 6:2

This isn’t a justification for going out and blowing all your money or abandoning all your restraints. Most of what is important will fall into other categories. It’s about investing your time wisely. It’s about being kind in your relationships. It’s about taking vacations and talking to each other rather than staring at your smart phone or computer. It’s about not accepting overtime just so you can buy more “stuff”.

I had an offer from someone to sit with me at the hospital. That meant a lot. That’s what true friendship looks like. Our church encourages building that kind of community and those kinds of relationships. Even the hard times can be good times if you don’t face them alone.

So what are the good times you want to hang on to?

As I get older some of the ones I used to think were good times are now regretful memories. We all have a past, so perhaps you are like me. These days I am more concerned with building significant or eternal ones. How about you?

4 thoughts on “Hanging On To the Good Times

  1. Sending prayers for your father, Nan and you. This message was almost identical to one I heard earlier today. Be kind now as you never know. Do things that make you and others feel good. Be present and enjoy the present you have…its called today. Jeannie Ace

  2. Dave, thanks for this. It came at a good time as I remember having similar thoughts at the hospital when we were saying goodbye to my dad recently. Lots of memories coming back. Some good, some bad. So sorry to hear about your dad. Hopefully you’ve had time to process some. Glad Nan is okay. Being in a NICU and then an ICU so close together really made me appreciate life and what we spend our time doing, who we invest in and what our relationship with God looks like. Keep writing. I’m trying to get back to that myself. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Melissa — really miss you. I’m still in the process of forgiving Mark for taking you away from C.A. Yes, life becomes precious at those moments. Suffering focuses our attention to the really important in life. Write another post for me — incentive?

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