In His infinite mercy, God gives us new opportunities for beautiful experiences every moment of our lives. We only have to reach out for them! We may have recently lost someone we loved, but here is a friend's hand reaching up to hold ours. We may have just gotten a terrible diagnosis - and it's a beautiful Spring day. Do we disdain our friend's hand, or curse at the beautiful Spring day? Or do we accept each for what it's worth - a tiny gift to uphold us in the midst of tragedy! Do we think we can wait until the time is just right to really appreciate our friends or Nature? No - now is the time to appreciate them, while we feel that tender touch, and are warmed by a fragile Spring moment.
I remember one day when my husband kissed me ardently, and I said "Why do you want to do that when I'm so overweight?" He shrugged, smiled, and said that he loved me. If I waited till I'm my perfect weight to appreciate my husband's kisses, I'd be waiting till hell freezes over. Or I could wait and wait for the right moment to feel romantic, and suddenly no longer have a husband alive to kiss me. Now is the time to love my body enough to allow my husband to love me.
The sad thing about Scrooge's life was that he put making money ahead of making memories, working ahead of footloose wandering. His life was governed by the clock instead of by clocking in with family or friends. God has given us the gift of spontaneity to bring zest to our lives, yet we tend to keep our serious noses to over-rated grindstones and thereby are unable to look up and see a chance when it's in front of our faces. But - if we wait and wait until all our responsibilities are discharged, the day will come when our bodies are too arthritic for us to appreciate those long walks on a beach, or our minds may leave us before we can enjoy that Shakespearean drama in the park.
Our responsibilities are so important. But we also have a responsibility to us and to our families to feed and heal our hearts, minds, and souls - in good times and in bad, until death parts us from this earthly sojourn. After you're dead, your children will never remember if the laundry was always done, or if the lawn was always trimmed. But they WILL remember that Dad and Mom took the time to take the family on vacations to make wonderful memories with them. They WILL remember that Mom and Dad took the time to make peace with an angry relative. They WILL remember that Mom and Dad took the time to laugh and hold riotous parties at which every one visited until the moon and stars rose, and the beer cans, lasagna pans, and cookie tins were empty.
Pope Francis has weighed in on this subject, of course. Here are his words of wisdom:
"A Gentle Reminder From Pope Francis
This life will go by fast.
Don't fight with people, don't criticize your body so much, don't complain so much.
Don't lose sleep over your bills. Look for the person that makes you happy. If you make a mistake, let it go and keep seeking your happiness.
Never stop being a good parent. Don't worry so much about buying luxuries and comforts for your home, and don't kill yourself trying to leave an inheritance for your family. Those benefits should be earned by each person, so don't dedicate yourself to accumulating money.
Enjoy, travel, enjoy your journeys, see new places, give yourself the pleasures you deserve. Allow dogs to get closer. Don't put away the fine glassware. Utilize the new dinnerware; don't save your favorite perfume, use it to go out with yourself; wear out your favorite sport shoes; repeat your favorite clothes.
So what? That's not bad. Why not now? Why not pray now instead of waiting until before you sleep? Why not call now? Why not forgive now? We wait so long for Christmas; for Friday; for Reunions; for another year; for when I have money; for love to come; when everything is perfect...look...
Everything perfect doesn't exist. Human beings can't accomplish this because it simply was not intended to be completed here. Here is an opportunity to learn.
So take this challenge that is life and do it now...love more, forgive more, embrace more, love more intensely and leave the rest in God's hands. Amen."
The saints have told us that every time we allow ourselves to wholeheartedly enter into and enjoy any aspect of our lives, we are getting a small taste of heaven and heavenly joy. That is TOTALLY why God gives us His tender mercies - to remind us of the wonders we can't even imagine that wait for us!