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Life Lessons

By Doug Harrell

Mitchell Countydoug harrell life lessons


The years fly by at a tremendous pace it seems.  We look out the window of time and before we realize it, we are coming to the end of the journey.  For some, this might seem morbid, but it is a fact of life for all of us.  Barbara and I attended a funeral yesterday for a friend of ours in a nearby community and upon arriving back at home that evening she made the comment, you know Doug, funerals are a little more personal now than they used to be!  I had to stop and think about that for a few minutes and let those thoughts sink in.  You know, it is different when the funerals you are attending are for those your age and younger, it is no longer just something out in the distant future that you know but never think about.  This very week, I became the oldest living member of the Luther and Arizona Harrell family and that gave me a moment of reflection.

I say these things to get your attention because, without faith in a risen Savior, we are just facing death, dust to dust mentality.  If there had been no resurrection, there would have been no future after the grave, but for those that have faith, we can lose that fear.  Now none of us know when our date with destiny will be, or how it will take place, but belief in God’s word gives us the ability to face each day with joy and gladness, rather than depression and gloom.  If we really trust and obey, we can live each day of our lives to the fullest and not worry about tomorrow or what it may bring.  We can face the day with joy in our hearts and a smile on our faces.  Way too often, we tend to focus on the hurts and pains of our joints, our hearth situations of all kinds, our inability to do the things we once did rather than doing the most that we can with joy in our hearts.  Now I understand some days are hard and the going gets rough, but even in the valleys, the journey is 95% attitude.  We can sit down on the couch and be afraid to do anything because we might overheat and have a heart attack or something else, or we can get up and do all we can possibly do.  My dad, A D Harrell, used to tell me when I was growing up, if you feel bad get up and go out and do something constructive, you won’t feel any worse and you might get something accomplished in the meantime.

When you are around others, don’t try and outdo each other with the intimate description of all your illnesses and scars from the surgeries you have been through, talk about your dreams and goals.  Make sure you have some, they will be different than they used to be, but always have something to strive for.  Have a reason to get up, get out and get going.  Nothing brings us to demise quicker than losing all sense of urgency in our lives.  The Bible, to my knowledge, does not have one verse about retirement, but it has a lot about doing good, plowing your fields and feeding your oxen.  About caring and sharing Jesus’s love with those around us.  Now don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong at all with stopping some of the daily grinds of a job or career to enjoy the fruits of your labor, but have productive plans for your life, or you will become bitter and stagnant like still water.

Focus on the world and the people around you, and what you can do each day to contribute to society and the community you are in.  Be conscious of looking outward and upward rather than inward and downward.  Commit to being and doing the very best you can for as long as you can, and the very best you can each day of your life, it could very well be your last day!  Fill each day to the brim, let your cup run over with love and enthusiasm for the day and those around you.  Continue to sow seeds of joy wherever you may go each day of your life, as long as you may live.


Doug Harrell is a life-long resident of Mitchell County, Owner of Harrell Hill Farms, a member of Bear Creek Baptist Church and former publisher of Blue Ridge Christian News. You can find him on Facebook at

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