McDowell Technical Community College

Life Lessons

By Doug Harrell

After spending the past six or seven months dealing with a diagnosis of leukemia and throwing a heart attack on top of the mix, I am learning anew that we have no control of most things that happen to us.  God is truly in control of many events that shape our lives and we need to roll with the punches.  This is especially true with health issues as we age and become enrolled in the Golden Years Bunch.  Even though we have no control of the deck of cards we are dealt, we certainly do have control of the way we play the cards.  We can belly ache and moan, complaining all along the way, or we can face the days with a smile on our face and the determination to do the best we possible can each and every day that we are fortunate enough to awake to the sunlight.

I recently attended the funeral of a dear friend and college roommate and it made me even more conscious of how short our lives here on this earth really are.  The Bible tells us that we are a fading flower, withering grass, just a passing vapor, and those things are true.  In my mid-seventies, I certainly understand that there are many more years in the past than there are in the future.  This can depress us, or it can give us wisdom to move forward and share the true meaning of life more deeply with those we come in contact with on a daily basis.  Hopefully we can be more genuine in our love for each other and be ever more willing to be a positive influence on our family, friends and fellow workers.

Being willing to spend time each day in quiet reflection with the Lord’s word is so important to me, especially with all the turmoil that is taking place in todays political and governmental arena.  The quickness of vile attacks against any and all is portrayed by the Bible as it talks about the days that we will face as Christians, but it hurts to see the age old traditions fade away.  I, as many others, use social media to keep up with friends and communicate with family, but it lessens the need to actually spend face time with each other.  Family reunions and decoration days that used to bring everyone together to visit and renew relationships have diminished to the point of almost non existence anymore.  The old timey days of dinner on the grounds and doing those things now have changed to instant facetime communication on the smartphone.  That is not a bad thing, but the human touch is just not the same as getting a real hello and genuine hug.

As we celebrate July 4th, hopefully there will be opportunity to have fun and fellowship with family and friends in a delightful way that is personal for each of us.  Also take time to give thanks for this great nation and what it stands for.  We have our faults, but having traveled around the world on several occasions, there is still no place in the world like the United States of America.  Continue to pray for all of our leaders, pray for God’s guidance in each of their lives, pray for their safety in this world of animosity, pray for civility in the lives of each of them and in our lives.  God Bless the USA!!