PRESENT TENSE

Last night, I had tears in my eyes as I watched the 11 pm news.

A Greenland, NH police chief who was only eight days from retirement was shot and killed in the line of duty during a drug investigation yesterday. He was 48. Four other officers were also wounded. I’m sure that many of you have heard about this tragedy so I won’t go into the details here. (If you haven’t yet, go to http://www.wmur.com/.)

What I do want to mention is that I couldn’t sleep afterwards. That’s because, besides praying for all of them, I couldn’t stop imagining how excited the police chief must have been as he was approaching that anticipated retirement day. I’m sure that he had all sorts of things planned—places to go, projects to finish, maybe since he was still so young, even a new career choice.

Then it was over, his life, just like that. Nobody could’ve ever predicted or planned the outcome.

What wasted dreams, I thought. What’s the purpose to making plans and getting excited about upcoming events if we’re not 100% sure that they’ll ever come true? It made me begin to feel guilty for being so excited about my own plans—the book release, upcoming interviews, book signings, etc.

But after pondering over it again this morning, I came to realize that there is an importance to all of our plans and dreams, even if they never happen. That’s because they bring spice to our lives. They keep us going. Without them, well, what would we look forward to here? And as long as we also remember to enjoy the present moment—the only thing that we can be sure of—then there’s nothing wrong with having them.

So the guilt has since disappeared, and I’ll continue on with my excitement about the book being released soon—I couldn’t refrain even if I tried. I’ll move forward with my own plans, no guilt involved. (Be sure to check out my first author event listed on this site!)

Most important, though, is that while I go on planning and yap, yap, yapping about it all, I’ll be sure to pause every once in a while, take in a deep breath, clear my mind of thought, and just give thanks for the very essence of life itself—present tense.

I suggest you do the same.

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