Two and a half miles up, the raindrops begin their journey towards the earth. Reaching a terminal velocity of about 20 mph, about 7 minutes pass before they strike the copper roof of the old home.
I hear hollow drumbeats ring out with each glancing blow, signaling the start of another passing storm.
The house is empty, but it’s sure not quiet.
Although the coroner removed the body a week ago, the faint smell of decomposing flesh still wanders the halls and settles in vacant rooms, now loud with a thundering herd of pouring rain galloping across the roof.
The former tenant missed his next tomorrow by a few hours, and every successive future year with each new trip around the sun. For him, time is meaningless now because that earthly measure halted when he quit breathing.
And I can say with 100% certainty, we each will cease to inhabit a place on this planet and there’s nothing you or I can do about it.
But we still have what’s left of today.
While we occupy space and use oxygen, there is at least a glimpse of tomorrow; so we have to figure out the best use of the limited time we’re provided.
Should we spend it hoping?
I think hope is a great emotion, but it’s a lousy planning tool and accomplishes nothing tangible.
So what about dreaming of something better? Again, great to get the mind working, but dreaming is to mental gymnastics exercising the neurons.
But we can still plan for things to change, right? I guess it depends on how those plans lead to action.
Our passing friend did all those things. But his plans for next week fell apart. His hopes for a brighter tomorrow dimmed and the dreams he never reached became meaningless.
I know many people fear death, don’t want to read about it, and refuse to talk about it because it brings so much unknown. But I promise it’ll show up, anyway.
And I don’t think it’s death we need to fear; Instead, we need to fear not living life while we can and end up passing with no benefit provided to those left behind.
Once we’re dead, all the time worrying about what happens next immediately becomes time wasted.
If you believe you’re created with a soul and still need to make plans for it, get that done today!
And for atheists who believe there is no soul and no Higher Power, death is meaningless anyway; you never need to consider it again.
Either way, I believe our focus must be on living with a purpose and the challenge is figuring out how.
Psychologists tell us living with purpose translates to living with importance. We are social animals by design and rely on being part of a group for survival. When we integrate with others, we seek meaning by feeling needed.
We can spend thousands of dollars and take all kinds of online tests trying to find our special purpose, but it is money wasted if we never feel like our life is important to someone.
But don’t look to social media to fulfill your desire for self worth. Facebook and Instagram always let you down. The “social” aspect of their names is misleading. These apps connect, but they socialize no one. More accurately, they divide.
Instead, look closer to home.
Realize that we should measure our worth only against our own internal gauge of importance. I’m not saying we must feel superior to others or to inflate our self-worth. This is not about our ego.
It simply means you must love who you are first before anyone external can validate your need for belonging.
How you figure that out is a mystery only you can solve, but it takes focus and work.
Once the idea of importance grows, your feeling of purpose will grow exponentially along with it.
Then it’s time to live the life you want to, planning for tomorrow but always knowing we are only promised the moment we live in and nothing more.
So we need to use it wisely.