Today, of course, was Father's Day, but it was also Bryan's birthday. We all took some time to remember Daddy.
How many times have you heard in church or read in a book that in your life, you should stop and think about what people will have to say about you when you're gone?
It's an interesting exercise- pondering one's own eulogy. We probably think of lofty things that we hope will one day be true of our lives: charity, charisma, kindness, success, love. All of those things are noble goals, but the fact is, when it comes to our children, it doesn't actually take much to make an impression.
Here's a sampling of what my little people had to say about what they liked best about Daddy:
"I liked it when he made waffles."
"He always talked to me about the cats."
"My favorite time was talking to him early in the morning."
"He tickled me before bed."
"I liked praying with him at night."
Talking, cats, tickle fights, waffles: simple things. Things that happen in the normal course of life. It's the "regular" moments that matter the most- not big trips or exciting gifts, not even holidays, special events or "memory makers." It's just being there, listening, and being involved. The day to day interaction is what matters to the people who love us.
John Bunyan said that if a man would live well, he should "fetch his last day to him, and make it always his company keeper." It's true that not all of us will meet with an early death, but no matter how long we live, life is extremely short. A mere breath, really. If we could fully grasp the meaning in the simplest things of life, the smallest act could be infused with purpose, the littlest deed would have importance.
Few of us will do great and amazing things, but all of us will do "normal" things. If we remember that all of those simple things are the building blocks of a life well-lived, then we can take the time to do ordinary things with love and attention. And we will live knowing that, to the people who love us most, it's the way we do the ordinary that makes us extraordinary.