Sometimes things come to us at the oddest of times. A thought, a word, a television program, a lyric, or something someone says. This thought came to me in my evening shower. I was soaping down in my usual military way, which means I have no wasted moves. I soap down and rinse off... period. In and out in under 4 minutes tops and I have no reason or desire to change that.
However, today it was different. It was as if I received a special message or understanding; an epiphany if you will. I suddenly understood that most conclusions I arrive at are the product of living and experiencing a wide range of conclusions based on my 65 years. Sounds almost obvious if you stand back and look at it, but guess what? There's more and that is the marvel of it all.
Each second of every day we are hurtling through the space time continuum and each of us are in a separate place from those around us. For instance my bride, although at my side, is 7 years behind me in this plane of existence. The things it has taken me 65 years to understand, she won't really comprehend for 7 more years.
Now wait a dang minute Bert, you are reaching out into the cosmos there with some kind of Neil Tyson Gegrasse mumbo jumbo! Maybe, but maybe not. To be sure, many of the things and thoughts we share we have learned and transferred back and forth, but following the rule that experience is the best teacher, I have 7 years of experience she (and others her age) have not yet been exposed to and that was the epiphany.
This beautiful woman married me September 16th, 1977 and Pastor L. S. Marcus tied the knot and he tied it tight. She was an innocent 17 year old girl and I, a worldly 25 year old man who had served 2 tours in the nasty confrontation in South East Asia. In many ways, I was almost a father figure to her without realizing it and only through many years of living together has it became apparent to me that I should be more of a husband and lover, than an instructor.
To this day I am very protective of her, but not in a jealous way. She is my number one priority in life and I can't imagine living without her. Life would lose meaning for me. It would open a fissure in my space time continuum and I would fall in. I'm honest in saying, I may not survive the fall. 40 years is a long time to suddenly have the light of your life extinguished. I want her to live my 7 years and then pass me at least 8 or more.
My revelation is more than what I have experienced with my bride, but carries over into many other facets of life. Someone once said that 99% of genius is correcting mistakes and trying again and again. Oh, that was me. It is my standard answer when I explain how I can repair computers. The mistakes are mine and I keep adjusting until I get the answer, but isn't that a pretty good explanation of how we should deal with life?
I constantly sift information and refuse to fall into a groove, which is basically a casket with the ends knocked out. I have a lot more to give and who better to give it to than the people I encounter? There is no greater mission in life than investing in people. I wish for the life of me that I could have warned Crystal Dowell what was coming her way when I talked to her in Spin class, but I didn't know. We all walk a precarious path and I do not want to waste one moment when it comes to lifting up a friend.
I admire people like Ken Pridgeon and Don Cunningham who are devoting their life to edifying anyone who will listen. They received the gift of the epiphany long before I did. People are our biggest investment. Don't set your sights on accumulation of stuff that doesn't matter. It won't mean anything down the road, as we have learned. People's lives are what matters. People.
The woman in the grocery store looking at the different cans of Wolf brand chili I talked to the other day. Her life matters. The garbage men I gave the cold Coke to - their life matters. The young couple, Preston and Tina Masichuk who are moving into their new house in Mont Belvieu with their two babies. Yea, I was glad to have to a chance to rub shoulders with. Every person counts.
My 65 years of experiences can be utilized for good or cynicism and it is up to me to make that choice. Boy, what an epiphany!