North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 20, 2013

Danielle Cater: Sow into the lives of those you love

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — Life can change in a heartbeat. At any moment you can go from sleeping through a regular day, to a horrible nightmare taking you by surprise. There are no certainties in life and it’s a good idea to alway try to be prepared for anything that may come your way.

No one could have been prepared this past weekend when a 35-year-old friend of mine was killed in an automobile accident. She apparently dropped her children off at her dad’s house and was headed to work when the unthinkable happened.

It seems like such a loss when a young person is taken out of this world before it seems to be their time. But through this tragedy, we need to be sure to look around at the ones we love and make certain that they know how we truly feel about them.

In just the past couple of months our community has dealt with suicide, death, murder and a number of other personal tragedies. Remember that it rains on the just and the unjust. Tragedy is no respecter of persons, so it’s smart to try to live each day as if it could be your last.

There is an acronym that is making a splash right now: YOLO. This stands for “you only live once.” This is a true statement and can be used for good or bad, depending on the circumstances. You could take it as a threat to your good time and do something crazy stupid since it is true that you only live once. But it is much wiser to take this saying as an eye opener or something to help you remember to seize the day. Life really does pass like sands through the hourglass and if we aren’t careful, we may wake up one day to see that our life has passed us by.

Even worse than seeing that your own life has passed you by, is the realization that the lives of those around you may pass you by also. If you don’t sow into the lives of your friends, spouses, children and other loved ones, you may find that they have lived their lives and you were an afterthought.

Go out of your way to make an impact in the lives of those around you. It’s so important to do more than just exist in this life. If you are just living for the weekend, then there are five good days each week that you are allowing to slip by. Take them, don’t lose them. Each day is a gift, and it is up to us to open them and get the most out of them. Some days, the best thing you can do is just sit on the couch at the house and enjoy the solitude. But most days, there are things that not only need to be done, but things that you would enjoy doing, if you would realize what a blessing was set before you.

It may be a Wednesday evening, but get out and go to church and sow into the lives of your church family. If it’s a Friday night, enjoy the fact that you get to sleep late tomorrow and take the family to a late movie and get ice cream afterward. Whatever you decide to do with the gift of your life, make sure that you aren’t selfish with it. Tell others how much you love them and what they mean to you.

You never know when you won’t have the opportunity to speak to them again, and the only way to have a clear conscience about the way you lived your life with them is to live your life in a good way before them. Be free with your love. Be open with your feelings. And don’t be afraid to go out of your ways to make someone else’s day. One day it will be your last and you want to leave with no regrets for your past.