This morning I woke up early. That is not really anything new it is just that today was a day when I needed to get things done. I have been distracted over the course of the last two weeks and I have not been as productive in completing some tasks I needed to get done. It is now about 11:30 at night and I am sitting at my office desk realizing that I STILL have a lot to do before I can go to bed. I did not even come close to getting the things done today that I needed to do.
There are reasons as to why I failed in getting everything done today. I have been reeling from the loss of my lifelong friend, Steve Schueren, who took his own life just a few weeks ago.
I am still trying to process this loss in my life. I am living with an element of denial because I have always assumed he and his friendship would always be there in my life. I took him way too much for granted. I am struggling with the fact that he is gone.
So today I came into my office and was determined to shake the cobwebs from my head and get down to business. In the middle of a very busy morning, I took the time to clear all of my voice mails that were saved on my phone. Pretty simple task and I was sure it would only take a few minutes to do. About halfway through the task however, there came a voice mail that I had never heard before. Someway, somehow this message was bypassed and I had never heard it before.
It was a voice mail from Laurie Crawford. Laurie was a close friend and an employee of mine that had worked for me right up until she passed away in early 2011. I have written about Laurie a few times over the years. Most specifically on the post, “No Whining Zone – A Facebook Challenge”.
I sat there at my desk trying to hold my composure. I was virtually on the brink of tears as people walked in and out of the office. I was trying desperately not to show my emotions as I listened to the message from Laurie. She was telling me that she was planning on coming in to work but that the doctor wanted her to come in for another test. She was apologizing for not being able to come to work.
She never did come back to work and she passed away a few weeks later. She was a very special person and I still miss her terribly. On top of everything over the past few weeks, I did not expect to hear her voice today and it really shook me up.
Over the course of the last few years I have lost some dear friends. People who were very important in my life. I have to admit before the Lord that I need a break from the sadness and the hurt from losing those that I loved and was close to. I reflect on the loss of these close friends and it makes everything vivid, raw and emotional.
In the midst of the loss, I am reminded that the things that are important in life become very clear. The most important things in life are your faith, your family and your friends. The rest of the junk in this life is just not worth it. People are way too important. What is most clear and what really matters is to be true to your faith, say the things you need to say to those you love. Starting with your family and then with your friends. Make sure you have made things right. Regret is a terrible thing to live with and as I write this I am keenly made aware of some things that I need to fix and settle in my relationships within my own family.
We are busy living for food, cars, houses and things, but in death we see….if only briefly….that the only important things around us are those friends and family that we are close to. You see, the only eternal things you will ever encounter (other than God himself) are people. All the cars, houses, things and stuff will rot, rust, decay or be thrown out, but your faith, friends and family…are the most important things in life.
May I always be reminded to check my priorities. Ask myself, “How am I investing my life?” “What’s important to me?” Don’t pass by your faith, your family and your friends too quickly, don’t dismiss them, don’t abuse them.
Faith, Family and Friends
All of these things are created by God to be valued as precious…because they are.