Nothing, we remind ourselves, lasts for a lifetime. Understand this. Believe it. Then, maybe the next time we won’t be so gullible. Unfortunately, once we protect ourselves from being so gullible, we easily become cynical, disillusioned, hopeless, and habitually critical. Nothing is as it is supposed to be, we tell ourselves. Why attempt to believe in anything? Nothing lasts. We need to get used to the idea.
Please don’t get used to this idea. Contrary to popular belief, there are a few precious things in this world that can last a lifetime. You certainly won’t find them in stores or peddled from the Internet. But they are there. You just have to know where to look for that which lasts a lifetime. Take a moment and think about what has lasted for you. Maybe your list will be similar to mine.
First, a love for nature can last a lifetime. Living in Tennessee we are especially fortunate. What better place to appreciate the beauty of nature — dogwoods, daffodils, lilies, dandelions, green grass, mountain views, colorful foliage, wildlife, mountain streams, peaceful lakes, balanced seasons.
A love that can last a lifetime — guaranteed.
Second, a love for the written word can last a lifetime. In response to a question by the famous writer and teacher C.S. Lewis, “Why do we read?” a student replied “We read to know that we are not alone.”
He’s right. There has been greatness before us and greatness will surely follow. Tap into this greatness by reading the great books. Dr. Seuss provides a good start. Continue until you have read the classics. They can be a teacher and a guide that will serve you all the days of your life. A love that can last a lifetime — guaranteed.
Third, a healthy love for yourself can last a lifetime. Live in such a manner you develop an unashamed conscience. There are so many choices to make, many of them difficult. Since the choices we make determine whether we are a part of the problem or a part of the solution, it’s important to choose wisely. Seek the additional support of family and friends for support when the need arises. Develop a healthy love for yourself. A love that can last a lifetime — guaranteed.
Fourth, a love for great ideas can last a lifetime. As you mature, you quickly learn that small minds talk about people while great minds talk about ideas. There is a lot of trivia out there. I know this means some sorting through, but it’s worth the process. There’s nothing much worse than living a meaningless life invested in nothing but trivia. Choose to invest your time in ideas and projects which keep you excited and motivated. A love that can last a lifetime — guaranteed.
Fifth, a deep and wonderful sense of the life within you can last a lifetime. This can be your spiritual connection. Whether or not you recognize God’s presence will depend on your perception. If you have lived the other parts of your life well, this perception will not be nearly so difficult.
But, ultimately, even with good perception, you must have faith, faith to believe that everything is not within what can be touched or tasted or felt or smelled or heard. Reach beyond yourself and within yourself. A love that can last a lifetime — guaranteed.
These are a few guarantees — guarantees which can deliver most of what life was intended to be.