And then there were more

My wife, Susan, and I have been privileged to be the parents of four children – two boys and two girls.  All of them were born between March 21 and April 17.  For us, this means that the Season of Spring is also known as the Birthday Season.  We have watched them grow up, sprout their wings, matriculate from college, pursue their vocational ambitions and discover their soul mates. 

We rejoiced when our youngest son, Sam, announced his engagement to Beth.  They were married on New Year’s Eve of 2005.  And thus began the era of Nuptials.  Our children were married in reverse order of their age.  The youngest first, then the next to the youngest, Sarah, married Frank in 2009.  Then the second oldest, Kate, married Kris in 2010.  And now the eldest child of the Miller household, Walker, has proposed to Tina Garcia on the weekend of his birthday (last weekend to be exact).  They are planning to be wed in January of 2012.  Our hearts are full!

It has been a wonder to watch the chapters of our lives unfold, each chapter encasing elements of comedy, drama, adventure, poignancy, and melancholy.  When we are young the chapters number few but seemingly go on for page after page.  As we age, the chapters multiply quickly but the pages become abbreviated.  And yet there are still many chapters to be revealed. 

Each day is precious.  Every relationship is to be cherished.  There is no time for pettiness and minutiae.  We are to live in the fullness of the moment and as fully as we can as human beings.  For me, such fullness of life comes from my connection with God, with my family, and with my friends.  Everything literally hinges on how we embrace those connections and approach each chapter of living.

Most of the time we never notice the hinges on a door.  We don’t pay attention to them.  They are often small and hidden, yet without them, the door would not function at all.  What we bring to each chapter of life are the little hinges on which the big doors of our lives swing.  The wrong attitude brings wear and tear, finally tearing the door down.

We can’t control life’s negative circumstances – the long lines at the grocery store, aches and pains, or late-night calls from telemarketers.  Those are life’s invariables.  Yet we can control how we relate to them.  It’s a simple choice, a simple step.  The right approach allows us to keep all the mechanisms of our life in perspective, the best working order, so that each chapter can be maximized to the fullest.  One of the hardest things I decide every day is to stay open and gracious to everything and everyone that is hovering around me.  It’s hard, but it is also the most satisfying!