“Am I contributing in the game of life?”

A dear friend passed away recently at an early age, leaving behind a young family and a beautiful wife. Our family went to his service together on Monday. We celebrated his life and supported his family while they dealt with their loss. Our children grew up together, sharing experiences on teams, playing in the neighborhood, or learning in classrooms. It was fun to reminisce about our life experiences as friends, families, and couples.

As a father, I was touched as I overheard my friend’s children talk about their dads with great pride, knowing how difficult their loss would be as they grow up. I, too, have lost my father, thinking of him often and wishing he was still here with us.

Those who spoke at the service addressed my friend’s accomplishments and suggested he had lived a full life even though his years here on earth were cut short. These sentiments I agree with wholeheartedly; he was amazing, yet I knew this friend would have felt he had some music left in him.

I have written before about the intensity of feelings in times such as these, but again was filled with emotion; as I sat witnessing the value we each hold in this world. I think it was Shakespeare who said, “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”  In what was referred to as a shortened life, my friend lived Shakespeare’s words casting beams throughout his life, never perhaps realizing it himself. He lived a life with willingness, even an eagerness, to reach his hand out into the dark to pull someone into the light. His light was optimism, it was hope, and it was believing in oneself. As he walked through life, he was unaware of how many lives he touched and how his mark on life would live.

Perhaps we sometimes think, “Am I contributing to the game of life?” The answer is: absolutely yes. We all are every day. While doing so, the next thought could be, “Are we giving our full potential in all that we do?” Often yes, maybe not, and if not, realize that giving more or our all; is no more difficult than being average. You all have personal and distinct talents and abilities. Know in your heart you have, you are, and you will make a difference to all you come in contact with as you are willing to give of yourself. As you give, you will receive; as you receive, you will be able to give more. We all have music in us; share your tunes!


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2 Responses to “Am I contributing in the game of life?”

  1. scott holsey says:

    I loved reading this man. keep it up and i will visit more.

  2. Lori Matthias says:

    This was beautiful Jaren! You should write a book! I will look at your blog as often as I can, and I look forward to it!

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