Living life well is both a gift and a skill. Having life to live at all, is purely a gift that we, ourselves, had no part in creating. What we do with this gift we've been given is in large measure however, up to us. Created in the Creator's image, we were designed with free will, the ability and responsibility to choose. Even when the options seem limited and defective, it is still our responsibility ultimately to make a choice. Our choices have consequences, both to us and to others. The consequences of those choices are sometimes very positive and sometimes extremely negative. In the mystery of God's sovereignty, there are times when our poor decisions result in painful consequences, (either immediately or delayed, but present in one way or another), while at other times His grace seems to spare us and those around us the full impact of our poor choices. This grace regarding consequences is not universal, and should not be taken lightly or abused presumptuously, as that will almost universally result in tragedy. 

As we focus on the only thing we truly have currently in our possession–this very day–we must still find Wisdom's balance in being aware of yesterday, of yesterday's lessons learned (so often through pain and loss–ours, or someone else's). The payoff for choices wisely made, (often by saying "no" to an immediate "want,” or by "deferring gratification"--the gratification of the senses as well as the gratification of revenge, etc!) is potentially great. Celebrating and being grateful for what has been while refusing to "live there,” either by settling in those victories, or wallowing in the regrets, helps us grow and mature and live today in greater fullness. And as important as it is to be aware of the past without being mired in it, we also look towards the future, to what might lay ahead. We "look through a glass dimly" towards the days that lie ahead, with wisdom to hope for what can be, all the while understanding that the road we are called to, the road we choose (or are thrust onto) may lead to very unexpected destinations. The next stops on life's journey may be, at times, more glorious than we could have dreamed, and at other times more tragic than we could ever have prepared for. With this awareness ever-present, we listen to Wisdom's whisper again, and we choose to live today in all the fullness possible for this "once-in-a-lifetime, never-to-be-repeated" day, this unique "day that the Lord has made.” 

Having lived long enough to understand that there is no guarantee that there will even be a tomorrow for us in this world, we choose to live today only with the guarantee that we are fully loved by Ultimate Love, fully known and forgiven by that Love, and that our eternity beyond this world is secure, bought, and paid for by the death and resurrection of Ultimate Love Himself. Living life well–none of us do it perfectly. Some of us are given the grace of enough years to slowly learn and grow the skill. My prayer is that I continue to grow and learn to live life more fully, and that the generations below me are able to learn faster than I have!

God bless always,
Ricky Lee Jackson

What Fox News Says About Ricky Lee Jackson:

"He’s the new Joe the Plumber; now there's Rick the Doctor...
Some have joined Tea Parties, stormed town halls, others like family practice physician and country recording artist Ricky Lee Jackson have taken to the microphone... 
he wants his country back." 
~ Fox and Friends / Fox News
 

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