Saturday, November 29, 2008
THE LAST SONG. . . or BOOK. . . .
Like many people, I was deeply moved by Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (Oct. 23, 1960 - July 25, 2008) and his September 18, 2007 "last lecture" given before a packed university auditorium. In his intimate presentation, "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams," Pausch, a terminal cancer patient facing his final days, used his own life lessons and experiences to advise students on how they could also achieve their own career and personal goals.
The other day, as I was preparing the stuffing for the next day's Thanksgiving bird, I was listening to one of my all time favorite Cds, "Peace Like A River" by the Tabernacle Choir. I got chills and my eyes teared, as they frequently do it seems. It was the words, the magnificent, inspiring words that touched me so deeply, and I thought, morosely perhaps, that this CD embodied the themes I would want to leave with my loved ones as my "last lecture"--love God, love each other, have faith, be grateful, and let His peace distill over you no matter the circumstances.
I loved these words and the gentle, peace-giving melody: "So if you're worried and you can't sleep, just count your blessings instead of sheep, and you'll fall asleep counting your blessings." How wonderful is that bit of advice?
And how about this to give you courage under fire? "I have faith like a river. . . I have love like a river. . . I have peace like a river. . ." Who can stop such powerful love, faith and peace as that? That's what I'd like to leave for my loved ones as part of my last lecture.
There are so many wonderful messages that can inspire and give comfort, speaking the words we would want to say when we can't be there in person to say them. So I want to teach these songs to my grandchildren and play them often in my home when my kids come back, so these words will echo in their heads when we're apart. Imagine how comforting it would be for a college student or a missionary to carry Mom or Dad's favorite tune in his or her head? Or a passage of inspiring quotes from scripture or a great book? These are the jewels I want to begin dropping along my path, in hopes that a few might be picked up and carried on by those I love.
So what songs have touched your life? Play them often so anyone who passes your doorway will associate them with you. Jot down passages of tender scripture or thought-provoking passages from good books and post them on your fridge or on the bathroom mirror to bring peace to those you love.
And may we each count our blessings instead of sheep. . .