Recently I was part of a reading group discussion on Unforgettable by Scott Simon, and part of the conversation was about how the author told the story of his life with his mother through relationships. The people they knew made their life what it was. Memories of family and friends, long-term and short-term, painted the picture of the decades they shared. Whether life-time family members or friends known for a time, so many made an impact.
So often we think of lives — whether ours or anyone else’s — as a series of events. We are born, we walk, we start school, we graduate, we work, we marry, etc. Project-driven types like me tend to think of our days as a series of tasks; Monday is defined by the to-do list.
Speaking for myself, I need the reminder daily (if not hourly) that my life is in relationships, not accomplishments or milestones. My relationship with God is life, all I need today and for eternity. My relationship with my husband is my earthly priority and a priceless work of God’s grace in my life. My relationship with my stepdaughter is a precious treasure day after day. My relationships in my local church and through the work day build me up and provide an avenue for blessing in turn. My friendships provide similar benefits and a whole lot of joy. Neighbors, extended family, acquaintances, waiters and clerks we see on a regular basis, and more — all enrich daily life.
I need to remember that my life so far is a beautiful tapestry of people God has placed in my path. I need to remember that my day today is not about getting the oil changed and the laundry caught up and the project finished and dinner made, but about loving those in it. Yes, I love them by doing the dishes, but often I need to look up from the sink and smile at my family and be thankful.