I just got back from watching the sunset, and now I’m sitting here in my favorite, big, comfortable living room chair, listening to some wonderful, well-produced music which has moved me into a deep into personal reflection.
As some of you know, I’m currently on a medical leave from work. I have yet to disclose the condition publicly, but needless to say, it’s not life-threatening and everything is going to be okay.
Maybe the music is playing with my heartstrings, but my thoughts right now are geared on this crazy ride known as life—and thus far the ride (probably like yours) has been filled with wild swings both up and down. Focusing on the ups keeps me happy and sane. As for the downs? There have been some terribly low moments as I will briefly describe, but somehow there has always been a silver lining.
One thing about those ups and downs, looking at them closely maintains within me a deep seated contentment, particularly when I consider life’s most distant horizon.
But touching on the ups, none outdo the beautiful woman I fell head-over-heals in love with when we were both 18. The ups also include my four children who I relished raising and now enjoy watching do life as adults—and I can’t forget the sheer joy I receive from hanging out with my four grandchildren.
The ups also encompass family and friends, laughter, vacations, recreation, and the opportunity to have been an occasional blessing to those in need. In particular I’m thinking of all the kids who were adopted, including my third son, Josh, via my TV segment on Channel 5,”Brian’s Kids.
Certainly my career has been an up. Not just the accolades, promotions, awards and income, but the talented (and in some cases super famous) people I’ve worked with, and the moments of side-splitting hilarity that have occurred behind the scenes that most will never even know about.
And then there are the downs. The worst moment of my life was witnessing the death of a friend when I was ten, but miraculously that eventually turned out to be an odd sort of up as it caused me (and a quite a few others, including his parents) to become aware of the promise of Heaven.
Another down that landed up was when I recklessly turned my back on my parents and went incommunicado with them until my brother stepped in and told me Dad had fallen ill. In the months to come our relationship was fully restored and turned out being better than I could have ever imagined. In his last moments Dad urged me to get along with Mom, which I did.
Again, the downs (and there are many more) have convinced me is that, despite some very real pain and regret, there can be a silver lining.
As I sit here in this comfy easy chair, I’m also thinking of four buddies of mine who have cancer. I pray for them daily—lately I’ve been awakened in the middle of the night from a dream in which I’m praying for them. So, I wake up and pray.
Interestingly, while all of these men cherish life, none of them fear death; because they know that, eventually, Heaven awaits. Like me, they have all placed their trust in the one who proclaims:
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though they die, yet shall live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”
So, I’m good. I’ve hit one of life’s speed bumps, but I’m confident that this little down will become a big up.
I can’t wait to see all the silver linings.