Live long enough and it’s likely to happen: you will be asked to give a eulogy for someone you love. The immediate reaction is generally one of feeling honored, quickly followed by being gripped with terror. The enormity of the responsibility falls heavily on your shoulders. How can you possibly do justice to a person’s life in a few short minutes? Yet that’s the task assigned to you.
Have you ever seen this image? It’s called a Rubin Vase, designed in 1915 by a Danish psychologist named Edgar Rubin. It’s called an “ambiguous” form. Looked at from one perspective, you see a vase in the center. Looked at from another perspective and you see the profiles of two people facing each other on the sides. Can you see both views? Crazy, isn’t it?
In the midst of the Great Depression, attending college was not a possibility for most teenagers. And for the oldest son of a poor immigrant family, it wasn’t in his wildest dreams. The thought had literally never even crossed my father’s mind.
His plan was to finish high school and then to find a job doing manual labor. Perhaps he could join his beloved father shoveling coal on the railroad or find construction work and utilize his natural athletic abilities.
Every morning, I walk by a small, tranquil lake. And every morning, I see six ducks grouped closely together, either swimming or resting on the banks. Five are white Peking ducks, and the sixth is a lone, female mallard. Quite an odd combination.
I’ve often wondered why that solo mallard would choose to hang out with a completely different breed of duck, and I've been curious about what happened to Mr. Mallard.
There are 15 exquisite minutes every morning that I have come to cherish. Right now, they occur between about 6:48 and 7:03 a.m., the current transition time from the darkest of night skies to dawn’s early light. 15 sacred minutes when the sky turns magnificent shades of sapphire blue.
Get distracted, brew some coffee, look at social media, and the color is gone. And I’ve missed a blue so beautiful that it almost takes my breath away.
Who doesn’t love the film “Finding Nemo?” My favorite scene occurs when Dory encourages Nemo (whom she dubs “Mr. Grumpy Gils”) by singing: “When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do: Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, What do we do? We swim, swim, swim!”
Allergy season must have started early this year. Or maybe that’s not the real reason behind all of the red-eyed parents that I’ve seen recently. Yes, the red eyes are the symptom of a changing season…just a season of life, not the weather.
Think about the best fathers you know. What do they have in common? The predominant thread is not net worth, good looks or athletic prowess. Nor is it professional success, pedigree or academic achievements.
One consistent quality is woven through the character fabric of every exemplary father I know: he is intentional about investing in his children. Intentional with his time; intentional with building character; intentional with authentically living out the faith he is teaching.
I’m not sure why I picked up pen and paper that day. I think it was because my heart was so full of love, I felt like it could burst. I needed an outlet to express my wonder. There I sat, in a bed in Piedmont Hospital, and my life had just changed forever.
A few hours earlier, I had given birth to my first (and only) child. 5 pounds, 13 ounces of a precious baby girl. She was born quickly, just 30 minutes after our arrival at the hospital. (Please, don’t hate me.)