Looking Back


Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

By: Randy M. Ataide

Looking BackA few weeks ago I wrote about “Leaving a Legacy” where I reminisced about how life with all of our toil, effort and grand plans ultimately pass away. I think that the more that we appreciate and accept this reality, the more satisfied we are in the process of executing these plans. In my lectures, I try to remind my students that they are always more important than their ventures, whether they succeed grandly or they fail, because in the hearts and eyes of their families, friends and God, who they are is much more important than what we do.

This past week, this was a lesson once again for my own life.

Last Monday morning, I was focused upon my car repairs after an auto accident I had with a large deer, causing major damage to my car, but fortunately no injuries to us. Over a cup of coffee, I received a phone call from my brother, who told me that our mother was hospitalized and was unconscious. My wife and I drove to Fresno as fast as we could, arriving late in the afternoon to the gathered family and close friends. In the same building in which nearly three decades before we had welcomed our son and then our daughter into this world, we bade her farewell. She had lived a healthy, vigorous and vibrant life—a good life where I think many of her dreams came true—but a brain aneurysm ended it quickly.

It is strange to think that the family I grew up in is now depleted by half. My father, brother and now my mother are no longer on their earthly journey, and I hope and pray the day comes when we are reunited, in God’s gracious provision. But as I look back, I am grateful for the time we did have, and I am thankful and indeed hopeful.

It is OK to look back, for it provides us context for moving forward. Gratitude emanates from putting the work of today into the framework of past experiences, events and relationships. It helps us in placing our important business, economic, entrepreneurial, ministerial and any and all other earthly endeavor into a more accurate perspective–that no matter how important they may seem that they are really temporary, and will pass away despite our striving. This helps us develop the true and authentic legacy of our lives.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

 

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