Sunday, 1 February 2015

Great day to be alive


Usually, when I get in my truck at 2 AM on a cold, snowy night I waste little time putting the transmission into drive. Not this past Monday. I turned the key and was welcomed with... "It's a Great Day to be Alive" sung by Travis Tritt." I just sat there shivering and listened. (Since I'm not gifted with awesome lyric recall like the rest of my family I had to look up the lyrics.) Here're a few lines:

"Sometimes it's lonely, sometimes it's only me
And the shadows that fill this room
Sometimes I'm fallin', deserately callin'
Howlin' at the moon, ah-ooh

Well I might go get me a new tatoo
Or take my old Harley for a three day cruise
Might even grow me a Fu Man Chu

And it's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shining'
When I close my eyes
There's some hard time in the neighbourhood
But why can't everyday be just this good"
(from www.azlyrics.com writer: Darrell Scott)

You get the idea, I hope. Here's a man singing about simple blessings in life while at the same time acknowledging there's trouble all round - including in his own life - and he's thankful for each day. It resonated with me...and it brought me to smile. Yeah...it's a good day to be alive - even though there's some hard time in the neighbourhood.

Just earlier that evening I heard that the family of a man I worked with for 17 years pulled him from life support. I hadn't seen 'Pro' (as we called him) for the last 8 years and I was thinking that the last time I said 'Good bye' to him was really the last time I'd ever say good bye to Pro. You never know when the last time is going to be the last time. You say good bye to your kids when they leave for school. You say good bye to your best friend after a night on the town. You say good bye to your parents after a long overdue visit. You say good bye to your spouse on your way to work. You say good bye to a coworker as you enter life in a new employ. Or, you never get to say good bye.

The small things in life that provoke mild irritation - or anxiety - seem to be appreciated or even welcomed when a tragedy occurs. Suddenly, I'm thankful (not a lot mind you!) for having to get up at 2 AM to plow snow. I'm thankful for the annoying birds that woke me up too early on a Saturday morning. I'm thankful for my teenage daughter who's practicing the flute while I'm trying to write this blog. (She's actually quite gifted...phew!) I'm thankful for having to turn up the TV's volume because the dishwasher and washing maching are fighting over who can be the loudest during the rinse cycle!

And, I think...it's a great day to be alive.

Another great day: my mom watching her Dad (Pa) milk a cow. (See the wooden shoes!) 
The big things become bigger. Like watching my teenage son get into a van with his buddies - driven by one of his buddies. Yup - no parents at all. Just 5 - 16 year old boys, a van, some skates, a puck and in search of ice. And, I was thankful to watch it from my window. Or, witnessing my daughter and her friend confidently walk to the front of our church this morning and ask for donations for their upcoming mission trip to Haiti. And, if I could say this quietly so they don't hear me, I'm thankful that my oldest children will soon have their G2 driver's licenses. Not because I'll spend less time driving, but because, by God's grace, they've reached this milestone of life.

And, I think...it's a great day to be alive.

I think it's generally a good thing that we don't know when the last time we say good bye..will be the last time. I'm thankful that future events are kept hidden and are revealed in time. I'm not sure many people could bear or would really want to know what the future holds.

But, whatever the future holds, and whichever 'Good bye' will be my last good bye, may this be my song:

Sunset in Indian Shores, Florida

"The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies beore me
Let me singing when the evening comes
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name" (lyrics Matt Redman)

And, I think...it's a great day to be alive.