I am certainly not yet at death’s door and I still have a pretty long bucket list but I am old enough now to say that physically, my best days are behind me. Not that a gym membership and a crazy number of hours devoted to straining and sweating wouldn’t help, it is just that I must move a little more carefully, I must pace myself a bit and nothing really works as well as it once did. So here I sit thinking about how to redeem the time by considering what is really important and what is not. Money and wealth are not important past the point of providing a means to an end. How much do I really need? How much time am I willing to invest to go beyond what I need? I guess the answer is more holistic. I have a priority to my creator in that eternity makes this life’s priorities into a different context. I have a priority to my wife, to whom I have given my promise and with whom my life is in partnership. I have covenants with people I do business with, people I work with and people I am friends with. These covenants are implicit within the bounds my character and morality requires. All that adjusted by eternity.
That is the point though isn’t it? Am I going to live my life as if nothing remains of my after my flesh perishes or am I going to adjust my life in the context of eternity? Christ used words like “abide.” Paul talks about “winning the race.” Yet I best serve my creator by fulfilling the purpose for which He created me.
What are my passions? I am passionate about living in peace. That is the peace I have inside regardless of all the turmoil outside. So I will be anxious for nothing but in all things with prayer and supplication, I will give all my cares to God, that the peace that passes all understanding would guard my heart and my mind. Also, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, I will let my mind dwell on these things. So – faith is surrendering stress and not feeding my mind on the turmoil around me. Living in a blue state can make this a challenge when so many people let current events destroy their peace.
I am passionate about my wife. Our relationship is critical to me. We make decisions as partners, we help each other. We please each other. My commitment to her is before any other commitment short of my commitment to my creator. I delight in her delight. To find a soul mate, you have to become someone who is a good soulmate and that takes no small amount of work.
I am passionate about my work. I have employment that brings me a lot of creativity and challenge. It is a wonderful mixture of consulting and creating as well as negotiating and travel. I enjoy my work so much that at times I find myself saying … “and they even pay me for this!” Since work is honorable and necessary to make life work, it is really wonderful to find work that fits your gifts and passions.
I am passionate about people that are in my life. People at the Mission, people I work beside at the Mission. People I work with. I enjoy time with them. I am not passionate about chasing relationships with people that do not want me in their lives, even if they are family. Life it too short to chase people that are too good for me, people that have something against me for whatever reason. I will not be held hostage by social expectations regarding those who are indifferent to me. I know that I have a lot to offer to someone who wants me in their life and I will not waste my time trying to be loved by those that wont.
I am passionate about photography. I do not mean snapping a million photos hoping one will turn out. Photography is an intimate thing. I am best when I am alone. I will see something I wish to photograph and then I will circle the wagons five or six times and then ponder it. I use film and real paper made from cotton and cow bones. Just like they did 100 years ago. I mix my own chemicals and I use monster big cameras. Why? I like the end result. It has a lasting value and a depth and permanence about it.
I am passionate about the outdoors and all that goes with it. I love to hunt, to shoot targets, to hike and fish and do reloading. I love to explore and just relax in nature. It is not about killing or eating or even winning. It is about being in nature being a good marksman and there is just something wonderful about sitting around a lake with a fishing pole.
I love ham radio but I am waiting for a time a place where there is room to set up a great antenna and time to enjoy it. I know I could deploy an antenna here that would get the job done but I do travel a lot and do not want to rob Loretta my time by chasing DX. My call is N6FH – I have worked a number of IOTA expeditions, my favorite mode is CW and I enjoy QRP. The day will come when I will be found pounding brass on 14.010 Mhz again, but not for a little while yet.
Regardless of my art and my hobbies, my priorities are to let all these things operate in balance. I loath missing Sunday mornings at the mission at Church in the Alley. It is important to invest in those who are in need. It is important to give. What is really important is to become what God created me to be. To trust Him fully. To rejoice in His blessings and to be a blessing to others.