The Gift of Life and Another Year

MLJ Music


The Gift of Life and Another Year

Today is my birthday. I guess that allows me to be profound and think about the bigger picture.

Time marches on and the days come and go. With each day I become more aware of what a gift life is and how quickly it passes. Only other people are suppose to get old, right? My children are always suppose to be 3, 4, and 6, cute, happy and always with me. We think nothing changes because we are busy. The reality is everything changes every day. For example, wherever we are today in public, the exact same group of people will never be in that place at that time again. Same for your  church; people visit, move, are born and die. Celebrities come and go. The young and beautiful of yesterday are now playing the mothers and fathers of the new young and beautiful (Hallmark Channel, anyone?).

In our humanity we struggle to keep things the same, but that is not possible. There are no identical flowers, animals or people. Each is an unique creation made to live, flourish and eventually die. A new one will come and take its place. In our own lives, we futilely attempt to keep a situation exactly the same for our comfort and security. It simply cannot happen. We are made to create, be challenged and grow. We are made to stumble, fall, learn and ultimately succeed. Yes, life can be scary, but there is a new world waiting to be discovered if we only dare to open ourselves up to that possibility. We must give and what is even harder sometimes, let others give to us. Nothing is truly ours anyway. We are just stewards of all we have – our families, our possessions, our positions. It all remains behind.

Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else. ” – Leonardo da Vinci

You can almost think of humanity as a giant football game. In every area (medicine, Arts, Technology, etc.) people (quarterbacks) come and go throughout the years and move the ball. Some lose yardage (the power hungry, greedy, the self centered, religious fanatics), some make slow and steady progress and some make great gains (Tesla, Edison, Madame Curie, Martin Luther King). Most importantly, the game goes on. We are in reality just quarterbacks – our job is to push the ball forward.We try to overcome the defense (obstacles) and must always keep our eyes on the goal.  The goal is whatever you wish your time on this earth to be.

Some great Quarterbacks:

In music: Beethoven, Louie Armstrong and Bill Evans.
Baseball: The Babe, Gehrig, Ted Williams and DiMaggio.
USA History: Washington, Lincoln, JFK, MLK and RFK.
Football: Y.A. Tittle, Johnny Unitas,  Bart Starr

Yet the USA still goes on. The music plays on. Baseball comes back every spring , Football every fall. The game goes on.

Halftime is over. My Third Quarter has begun. The game plan needs some adjustments in order to win.
Here is a peek at my playbook:

  • I will try to do my best in every area. I will try learn from my mistakes, try not to stress over them, try not to repeat them, learn from them and try to have the courage to keep going. I will also make myself try new things.
  • I will try to not be envious of those with far superior gifts in certain areas and thank God for what he has given me. I will take a deep breath and put myself out there (like this blog!) and not worry about what others might think of me or my work (since I cannot control it anyway). I will try to be true to whatever it is God wants me to be.
  • I will try to create something everyday. Some new music, a blog article, an opportunity for another, a smile, kindness or an encouraging word. This will make everyday a good one.

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do. ”- Leonardo da Vinci

  • I will do my best to be kind to everyone I meet and be patient- not easy! I will try to forgive annoying people because I can be more annoying than anyone else I know. I will try to see the good in everyone and put a leash on my tongue. That alone will easily be a lifetime challenge. Finally and most importantly, I will not take myself too seriously. As children of God we make mistakes. As we forgive our children their mistakes, he will forgive ours because we don’t know any better. It is in the mistakes that we discover ourselves. I will be grateful for the gift of life, health, work, family and friends. I will do my best, with what I have, right here and right now.

As a well spent day affords happy sleep, so does a life profitably employed afford a happy death. – Leonardo da Vinci

Jon Sarta
November 9, 2015