What makes a good life?

I finished my Waymaker study. We ended with the word doxology. Doxology to thank God no matter where we find ourselves on life’s journey.

I’m learning that being grateful is not about my definitions of what is right and wrong. Or, what are my pleasures, and did they come to pass. It’s going deeper into the situation to discover what God is doing within your life. You can only change yourself. And, when you realize this, the discovery of His love for you is pure freedom. You let go of fixing others.

This waymaking centers solely on relationships. Relationship with God, yourself, and others. We nail the first two usually. At least we are more focused and willing to seek God and be self-aware. How are your relationships with others? The uncomfortable ones, or the ones that bring you great joy? Apparently, this matters more than your cholesterol levels.

Harvard conducted and continues to study adult development through a groundbreaking 80 plus year’s research study. 60 of the original group are in their 90s, and the one thing that led to healthy adult development and good physical health is relationships. The relationships that you know you can count on, and they are standing with you through it all. You may bicker or fuss, but the foundation of trust and commitment is there. This is what matters in the end.

So this message, that good, close relationships are good for our health and well-being, this is wisdom that’s as old as the hills. Why is this so hard to get and so easy to ignore? Well, we’re human. What we’d really like is a quick fix, something we can get that’ll make our lives good and keep them that way. Relationships are messy and they’re complicated and the hard work of tending to family and friends, it’s not sexy or glamorous. It’s also lifelong. It never ends.” (Robert Waldinger)

Maybe it’s because I’m in my 50s, and I can see the coming together of a life well lived and what made the difference that I am, on purpose, working on the connection–deepening the connections, especially with my spouse. To be in doxology and grateful for all that we’ve been through and grace-filled. This takes work and commitment. Friendship connections in which they speak life and build you up. Priceless.

The picture with this post takes me back. Parish was in his 20s, and Victoria was about 2 years old. Oh, how the years have transformed us spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I laugh. We went on Friday to the dermatologist together. I had three places removed, he had something going on with his toe. I was in the waiting room waiting on him. The music playing in the room could also be heard in the exam room. He texted me and said, “Listen to this song.” I had heard it and smiled even before the text. It was a song we sang as a duet in our 20s. We loved to sing together. The song was “Nothing Can Stop Us Now.” I had come across the cassette tape of our recording at Kings Dominion a day before our appointment. I’ll have to find a cassette player soon. These little things make up a lifetime.

“There isn’t time, so brief is life, for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving, and but an instant, so to speak, for that.” Mark Twain

I encourage you to watch this short Ted talk, “What makes a good life?” Many podcast shows feature the work and the updates. I encourage you to listen if you run across the work in your favorite podcast. Good stuff.

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