By Father George Agger SVD
Birthdays are important. For those of us in the Caribbean, we know it just by listening to the birthday greetings everyday on ZJB Radio Montserrat.
Two years ago, I was really looking forward to 12/12/12. Not because it was supposed to herald the end of the Mayan Calendar or possibly the end of the world. It was for a much more personal reason.
On that day, I celebrated my 70th birthday. I say I celebrated my 70th birthday, and that is what it was–a celebration. Others, more the pity, are afraid of the aging process–as if they could do anything about it. I turned 70 (others even more incredulously say I made it to 70), but I say I celebrated my 70th year and gave God thanks for the gift of life.
And so when I saw this reflection called “Growing Old,” I paid special attention to it. Let me share it with you today. It traces the lifespan of a person—all persons—that means you too, dear reader. Do you see yourself in this reflection?
First, I was dying to finish secondary school and start college,
And then I was dying to finish college and start working.
Then I was dying to marry and have children,
To grow old enough
So I could go back to work.
About then I was dying to retire
And now I am dying….
And suddenly I realize,
I forgot to live.
Please don’t let this happen to you. Appreciate your current situation and enjoy each day.
The reflection goes on:
To make money, we lose our health
And then to restore our health, we lose our money.
We live as if we are never going to die
And we die as if we never lived.
And always remember
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take
But by the moments that take our breath away.
Whatever age you are–child or teenager, young or aging adult, please don’t waste the days God has blessed you with. I once saw a message that read:
Don’t try to waste your days by trying to prolong them.
It is better to burn out (to live a full life) than to rust away.
Now isn’t that a challenging thought as you begin to live–THIS DAY.
God’s blessings are upon you today. Please stop a moment and become aware of them.
Born and raised in Ireland, Father George Agger SVD is the only priest on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. His 70th birthday also marked a traumatic day in the history of his hometown. To read that story, go to: http://www.divineword.org/news/tales_from_the_province_feature_stories_02142013.aspx