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Life can definitely take you down some unexpected avenues. It can turn you around like a detour on a highway and spit you out to a place you’ve never been. And I wonder as we take these trips, what is it we hold on to? What is it we hold dear? What becomes our prized possessions? Do we make them some type of lucky charm, thinking it’s going to bless our lives? The past week has reminded me of some important things and I have to admit it shook me up.

Recently, I went to my high school reunion. My experiences from those years were not traumatic, but like many they were not the happiest of times. I was always on the outer fringe of the high school rankings of coolness. I was quiet, shy and usually nestled up to a book whenever there was a free moment. So since then I have grown into myself, a little wiser and secure in my own uniqueness. Seeing old friends and reminiscing was great, but I did notice that many people seemed to relish this time as almost a moment out of time, like we were back in the 90s again and school affiliation said something about who we were. And it got me thinking about where we place our values, what makes us feel important and how we begin to align ourselves with temporary things to boost our feelings of self-worth.

And then I started my week with startling news: one of my coworkers died unexpectedly over the weekend. It hit me in the gut. She was only 21! That young woman was bright, hardworking and talked with everyone. She was thoughtful and a pleasure to work with, full of bouncy energy that the young possess. And she was on the cusp of greatness, she had a drive and fire that told me she loved life and was ready for her future to take flight.

At the end of our days (whenever it occurs), what is it we will find precious to our lives? We sometimes ponder about what someone will say about us when we are gone. We can picture loved ones in front of a crowd of people saying eloquent and funny things about us. But what will someone think of us when we are gone? “He was a sharp dresser, but he was so selfish.” “She was beautiful, but she wasn’t very supportive of her children.” “Why did he feel having the newest Cadillac was so important?”

And I am not just picking with you about this, I’m picking with myself. I can be so off with my priorities and thinking only of my own issues or desires. Those are the times when I have had to do a self-examination and re-calibrate my thoughts. We are human, but we can always look to improve ourselves, strive to be better. I’ll leave you dear reader with wonderful, timeless words that can only truly convey my thoughts: “Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves break through and steal. But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy and where thieves do not break through and steal; For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (Amp)

~Dedicated to the memory of Danielle DeGroat~

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