I have not made a blog entry in a while. A few people have inquired about my writing gap. As it does, life got in the way. I had to spend a lot of time living my life. My sister passed away in August. In September, I traveled to Taiwan for a mission trip. I just returned from another trip to Gatlinburg and Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

These three events represent different emotional times in my life. I will write another article on the Smoky Mountains, for now, I will share thoughts regarding my sister Sherryl Ann Reed. My sister’s passing generated some rare, at least for me, emotions. I experienced sadness, regret, and joy. I logically know that memorial services and funerals serve as a critical component of managing grief. This past month, I was reminded emotionally how important these events could be. Funerals also generate those, “we may never have this group of people together again” moments. My family realized this rare moment of togetherness after the graveside service concluded. Even though it was hot at the cemetery, we began hugging each other and snapping group photos. It was one of those moments in life not quickly forgotten. While the reason for our gathering was sad, the physical and emotional support we garnered as a family was immeasurable. One of my key learnings from this event is, if I have the slightest feeling I need to attend a funeral or a memorial service, I should go. Not only does attendance support the family, but we will also receive a benefit as well. A reminder that life is fleeting, and our days are precious.

This thought brings me to my topic, my sign off tag for this blog is “make the most of this day.” While this is a positive thought, my recent musings have caused me to reflect upon a deeper meaning. When we are young, we might say I will wait until I am older. When we are single, we may say I will wait until I am married. When our children are young, we might say I will wait until they are older. When we are working, we may say I will wait until I have more time. Stating the obvious, we do not know what the future holds. The only life we can confirm is the one we have now. Our life is now, and we should take full advantage of this known fact.

What does it mean to live our life now? Living now means engaging with people in meaningful relationships. Of course, we should start with our families. Take the opportunity today to spend precious, irreplaceable time with your family. This includes spouses, children, and parents. For me, I found tremendous value and support by spending time with my extended family. For however else we spend our time, work, school, etc. We use this time best by interfacing with people. In today’s world, this means limiting screen time. For me, this even means less time reading.

One thing that can devour our time and separate us from the ones we love is worrying. I spent many hours physically present with my family while mentally and emotionally; I was worried about work. During the formative years of my children’s lives, I burned up countless amounts of energy concerning myself with something that today, I can’t remember. Now to defend myself a bit, I was not always bound in this dark pattern of work concern. I did spend some memorable moments with my children. My regret lies with the fact that I did not make the most of my time with my family.

Don’t make my mistake! No matter what stage of life you are in, make the most of your day by spending time with family and friends. Trust me, the other things in our lives, like work, chores, and entertainment, are minor distractions. Put simply, people matter.

Make the most of this day!