The Eagles came through our town a few months ago. My wife and I enjoyed their audible tour of our younger years. They were the first band I went to see live, during their Hotel California album tour in 1976.
One of the songs from that album came to mind this morning.
It is typical of midlife to indulge regrets and “might have beens.” A cruel business, that – especially if we judge ourselves by events and consequences we can’t alter.
Hang out with care givers and you will hear some of this. Actually, quite a bit of it. We lament lost years, opportunities waived off, trips never taken, relationships broken or never engaged in the first place. “If I had it to do over” is more of a hiss than a musing.
It is the age old fight between flesh and spirit or, as an old friend puts it, between selfishness and sacrifice. Judged from our culture’s point of view, where self satisfaction and metrics of “fulfillment” are everything, our lives appear to be wasted time.
We might not value what we’ve done, and view it as irritation and deprivation. And the world around us will amplify those thoughts.
Another perspective is that what we do and what we give up have value because they are part of a much bigger plan and purpose than puny human perception can understand:
LORD, you will decree peace for us, for you have accomplished all we have done. (Isaiah 26:12 New American Bible)
Leave open the possibility that our care giving is the Creator’s own touch for those in our care. God has accomplished much through us, to the good of those who depend upon us and toward preparing us to share in peace that does not come and go with circumstances,
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (Jesus, in John 14:27, King James Version)
Or like The Eagles say,
And maybe someday we will find , that it wasn’t really