“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”
I am fortunate to be part of a great faith community. In church, I see many of my closest friends and some of the men and women whom I most admire.
A few weeks ago, a close friend stopped for a quick visit following Sunday mass. We had some time to chat and to get caught up. He told me of several recent events in his life that were helping him to shift his focus and priorities. He spoke of a good friend from his childhood who had recently rented a hotel room and overdosed; leaving behind his wife and young family. This friend had fallen on very hard times and deteriorated beyond the point of being able to reach out and ask for help. My friend then related how this man’s mother became intent on finding the Rolex watch that her son had pawned toward the end of his life. She was on a mission to find the watch and then give it to her grandson as a keepsake to help him remember his father.
It is difficult to understand this apparent paradox; that in wake of the tragedy his grieving mother would make finding the luxury time piece such a focused priority. She was determined to locate the watch and buy it. The story that my friend was sharing had me wondering whether the mother had overlooked the symbolism of her search. Perhaps that which her son and grandson longed for was time itself, rather than the thing that marked it.
A watch can only become a treasure if it reminds me in every moment that time is precious and that the passage of time reveals evidence of those whom I love and make my focus.
What a lonely and desperate emotional state it must be for someone to feel as if there is no other way out than to end the one life that they’ve been given. As I watched my friend drive away that afternoon, I prayed that I would be spared such depravity and loneliness in life.
The easiest way for someone to determine what I love, is to witness that to which I devote my time. In order to understand my priorities, one need only look and see what is getting my time and focused attention. Here are those things on which I am most focused:
- My prayer life, quiet reflection and the cultivation of my soul.
- My marriage – specifically making time to give, to nurture and to receive love.
- My children – Ann Marie and I are raising them up, not just watching them grow up.
- Fitness and Wellness.
- My career – I make a living so that I can have a life.
- My community.
- Enjoyable down time – Bel Far Niente.
It can be hard to resist the desire to own the outward trappings of success. Obviously, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with owning Rolexes, Porsches, or other expensive items; however, I make a grave mistake when I equate my material success with my intrinsic worthiness. This man’s death, while tragic, gives testament to how materialism and excess can consume one’s life, often literally.
Thomas “TD” Dierker
Live like you’re dying….cause you are!