Last weekend Debbie and I flew for a brief visit in Orlando. We have many memories there, many friends there, many stories there. Going back brought those stories to our minds.

Seeing the houses where we lived. Remembering the sounds of baseballs being hit by bats or caught by gloves. Recalling the noise of basketballs as our sons dribbled and shot, as they practiced and played games, as they built relationships and learned leadership skills through sports. Thinking about church services, church meals, church celebrations, and church grief. Engaging in deep conversations with friends, and being thankful miles and years do not have to separate relationships.

The funeral home viewing of a dear friend reminded us of how lives end.

The hospital visit to see another dear friend caused us to visit again the weaknesses in these bodies even when we are still alive.

The wedding celebration reinforced the importance of commitment and endurance. The church service spoke to me personally about God’s timing – which is very, very, very different from my own preferences (I also wanted to speak to the church leaders about why I needed to wear sunglasses during church. Their flashing lights were not friendly to a man with epilepsy. Thought I do not see a need to craft such a show, I decided to just put on the shades and receive the word I needed to hear that day. That’s better than letting my frustration rob me of receiving truth.). 

The two breakfasts with two different couples offered chances for delicious meals and deep conversations.

We left with healthy luggage to bring home. We flew back carrying reminders of grace and forgiveness and hope and love.

What about you? What have you learned lately about life, about death, about relationships, about love? Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there someone you should ask to forgive you? Who should you schedule time to meet with to enjoy honest an conversation? 

In this world of weddings and funerals, of songs and stories, of meals and hospital visits, of ball games and old houses, what can we do to live this life better? Perhaps we should invite others to be team players in our life stories.