In three days I will have attained the age of 79 (I drafted this 7 March 2012).
I don’t often think about my age, but when I do, it is to thank God for all the blessings of this life: My Wonderful Beloved of (in 2 days) 57 years; five exceptional (in my biased parental view) children and their equally exceptional spouses and their 11 children; as good health as one can reasonably expect at this time of one’s life (I have just returned from a few-mile walk to the Dollar Store with a friend); the ability during my working days to have accumulated enough to finance our retirement and to give generously to the church and a number of other charities; and to be living in a country where we can speak our mind and feel safe perambulating the local area – wherever that might be at any given time. There are, of course, many other blessings of this life and I am thankful for all of them.
But, at the same time, the title of this post is one to consider well, whether you are a believer in a supreme being or not, for we are on this earth for a finite sojourn and it is well that we do make the best of being here. Not just for our self-satisfaction, not for the benefit of specific others, but for the benefit of the world and future generations of people. If everyone who has lived on this earth had used his or her talents to the greatest advantage, if they had been generous with love of others and friendly to the environment, can you imagine in what Utopia we would be living today?
So, that did not happen; it is not happening today; and with the knowledge of that had I myself used every minute of my life to the full, I may have made a very small difference to the world in which my grandchildren will live, but I did not use every minute as it could have been used, then does that make me sad or depressed? No, for I, too, am human, as was the psalmist. He was not expecting us to be perfect: he was urging us to live our lives as well as we can, in the full knowledge that we can never be perfect.