I just read this little piece in the Christian Century's "Century Marks" section:
Bonnie Ware has long worked in palliative care, spending time with the dying during the final weeks of their lives. Over the years she's heard the same regrets from the dying. They wish they had had the courage to be themselves, rather than trying to meet expectations. They say they should not have worked so hard - a lament heard especially from the older generation of males. They regret not having had the courage to express their feelings, even if doing so would have caused others pain. They say they should have stayed in touch with their friends and given more time to nurturing friendships (Activist Post, November 30).This piece really resonates with me, really prompts me, in little ways, to make some adjustments in my day to day living. I don't feel too far off course; reflecting on this piece can help keep it that way.
As you move into this new year, what courage would you like to summon? In what ways can you cut back on work, if you're working too much? What friendships can you nurture or re-engage in? How can you do more of what truly feeds you and brings you joy?
Thinking about the end of life can be a powerful vehicle to help us occupy our lives in new and transforming ways. (If you're looking for additional resources, last March we had a whole sermon series on Death and Endings. Here's one of the sermons I preached.)