Turning the corner out of Labor Day weekend seems to add a turbo boost to every aspect of life for the final four months of the year.
We’ve completed two-thirds of 2023 and are well into the flow of the final third of the year.
It’s a great time to double check the list of goals we set for the year and see which ones might need some extra attention.
September also gives us a few days to look ahead and start organizing for the upcoming fall and winter events, not to mention the holiday season.
Time speeding along
I’m grateful for the space to reset and prepare for the final stretch of this year’s race, but it also reminds me how fast our years in this life are moving.
It’s like the famous quote by Author Gretchen Rubin: “The days are long but the years are short.”
While Rubin’s quote is most-often used in reference to children growing up, it can be applied to all of our experiences.
And it reminds me of how my grandparents would tell all of us kids not to wish time away when we were younger.
They told us a day would come when we would want time to slow down rather than continue saying we couldn’t wait until Christmas or summer or our birthday.
Do those random words of wisdom from your grandparents, parents and others surface from time to time for you too?
Have you found yourself sharing some of those nuggets of wisdom with those coming behind you?
And doesn’t it provide a warm sense of fulfillment when you hear your children, grandchildren and others you’ve mentored repeat the lessons to those they are now mentoring?
I love the continuous thread of communication, life lessons and spiritual development that connects generation after generation, even when we aren’t aware it is happening.
At the end of our journey here on earth, we all want to know our lives mattered and that we had a positive and valuable impact on the world.
Some individuals will have the opportunity to influence large numbers of people over the course of many years and become legends for their efforts.
Most of us, however, will only be known in our general geographical areas.
Still, the opportunity to influence remains the same, even without fame and fortune.
It means being willing to share the gifts God has given us by continuously using them and keeping them sharp as well as training others to do the same.
Leaving our mark fully on the next generation can only happen if we are able to resist the temptation (at least until we have no choice) of letting our world become too small, where every aspect of every day is solely focused on our needs and comfort.
We still need to take care of ourselves — even to the point of teaching others how to do this for themselves too — while ensuring we are not becoming self-absorbed in the process.
It’s a delicate balance and an important life lesson we all need help with along the way.
A major help is to stay focused on the Golden Rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12).
Another is to remember our two greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind … and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37–39).
And Titus 2:7–8 says, “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity and sound speech.”