The VOICE of Inspiration
By Don Lindsey
As was the case for so many others, I was saddened to hear about the passing of musical icon Aretha Franklin a few days ago. Her music wasn’t just a display of a once in a lifetime talent, but it also served as a backdrop for our country, and almost seemed to narrate the changes the that world had endured during her life.
On Thursday morning, I sat and watched news coverage of her passing and was amazed by the things I learned about her. Those close to Aretha Franklin talked about her sense of humor, generosity, love for cooking and how informed she was about what was going on in the world. They shined a light into the life of the “Queen of Soul” that the public didn’t get to see and the biggest thing that stood out to me was how she appreciated her life and the blessings that the Lord had given her.
While I was listening to all the different tributes, I started to ask myself if I appreciated my life, and I didn’t like my answer. It turns out, I still tend to focus on the stress more often than not, and that keeps me from getting the most out of my blessings. I’ve been reminded a lot recently through the death of a gentleman I was friends with as a kid, another friend’s dad and my best friend’s mother that life is precious. Wasting one second on things that can wait can cost you time with those you value more than anything.
Identifying my problem was just the start of this thought process. Trying to find a solution at first seemed difficult. I have always known that I tend to fly through life so fast that I don’t always see everything or appreciate life the way it deserves to be, and I’ve always looked for ways to counter that. Unfortunately, I haven’t been that successful finding what I’ve searched for, and I think that’s because I have always looked at the process as one problem and have tried to find one solution.
After spending a lot of time thinking about it, I discovered that there are a couple of ways to make sure that I get the most out of my day. Staying in constant prayer is of the utmost importance and probably the biggest thing I struggle with. Making sure I have real conversations with my wife, kids, parents, and friends is another way and also something I don’t do enough. It has always been very easy for me to get frustrated with something and forget to pray about it or go through my day saying I’m going to spend more quality time with my family but then forget because I’m tired.
Thankfully for me, these things are all very easy to correct. I didn’t think so at first, but as it turns out, I do seem to have better days and get through stress easier when I pray as often as possible. I feel good emotionally when I can laugh with my family and friends, and I like catching up with all of them to find out how their days have gone. Just doing those two things alone has helped to ground me over the last day or two and I’m finding that I am very grateful for all that God has granted me.
Since Thursday I’ve been on a bit of an emotional journey. It started with observing the death of an icon, admiring the life that she led and ended with me discovering things about myself. I have an appreciation for life that I wasn’t sure I had at first, and I plan on improving that appreciation with each day by making sure that I stay tuned into God, my family and those around me.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.