In his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Pastor Freed used this quote today from Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius – “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”
Freed reported that Aurelius is often referred to as the last “good” emperor of Rome and his thoughts were captured in a book on his Meditations that Freed studied in his philosophy class.
We live in a world in which taking the time to think about life as Aurelius advised is rare. The fast pace of modern life and the overload of information that we are now inundated with in any given day gives us little time to appreciate the privilege of another day of life. It is only when lives are abruptly ended in incidents like the recent mass shootings that we take the time to appreciate how fragile life is and how thankful we should be for each day.
It is also in those moments of grief and sorrow that we realize how many opportunities we missed to enjoy life and to share our love with others. Story after story coming out of life ending tragedies come from people relating the last time that they talked to or hugged the person that is now gone and how they wish that they had done that more often.
If you stop each morning and think about how precious life is, you might be incented to make sure that you find a way to touch those that you love each day. It may not be an in-person visit, but a call or writing a letter to them is still a touch.
So, stop and think this morning and every morning about how precious life is. Be thankful that God has given you another day and think about how you can make the most of that time. Stopping to think about the preciousness of life each morning also puts you in a better frame of mind to make decisions during the day. It helps you set your priorities and gets your focus on interpersonal relationships and not upon things like money or power.
Another of Aurelius’ sayings seems also appropriate once one has stopped to appreciate life – “If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” There are two simple rules to live by that will make the day better.
Think about it.