As a new year begins, many folks take a
few moments to ponder their lives and
wonder what changes they would like to
As life transition begins to take place
many individuals become intentional
about what they want to carry forth and
what they want to leave behind.
As the news of a challenging health issue
begins to settle in, people wonder about
how it is they want to spend their
remaining days and who they want to
connect and have closure with.
As life begins to draw to an end
individuals often reflect on the lives they
have led, the people they want to make
amends with and those they want to
express gratitude toward.
These and other benchmark moments
are times when many of us feel deeply
compelled to take stock of our lives.
Something in us is triggered, motivating
us to be reflective of the lives we have
led, the lives we are presently living, and
what we want to tend to as we move into
whatever comes next.
I have had the great privilege of sharing
all of the above moments with family,
friends, parishioners and leaders. What I
have learned is that many feel a great
sense of regret. Most of the time it is
because of ‘unfinished business’.
Relationships untended to or
unreconciled, stories not solicited or told,
hopes and dreams not shared or
In these ‘take stock moments’ I have
found the words of Martin Luther King,
Jr. particularly inspiring, “Time itself is
neutral; it can be used either
destructively or constructively…We must
use time creatively, in the knowledge that
the time is always ripe to do right.”
And then there are these words of Henri
Frédéric Amiel that call us to action, “Life
is short. We don’t have much time to
gladden the hearts of those who walk
this way with us. So, be swift to love and
make haste to be kind.”
Happy New Year!