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I review my life quite a bit. I wonder why I did this or that. I relish the experiences I’ve had. I like looking back at what I call a pinnacle moment. That moment when you make a decision that drastically changes your life. Sometimes a change comes because we want it. Other times, it comes because we have no other choice.

I’ve experienced bankruptcy, death, horror, fear, extreme boredom, and high adventure. I’ve experienced divorce, breakups, and the loss of dear friends. I’ve achieved some pretty terrific things and failed miserably at others.

What have I gathered so far in this life? Quite a bit of wisdom. I’ve learned what to avoid. I’ve learned about myself. My definition of love has changed. I’ve cultivated a gratitude for everything in my life.

I think about how I am today, compared to what I was. When I look back over the years, I didn’t like my earlier self too much. But you have to start somewhere. Over the years, hardship and problems have smoothed out the rough edges. I’ve become more accepting of other people and empathize more with people in tough positions. Perhaps this empathy developed because I have experienced some of these things myself or at least can measure another person’s troubles more accurately now that I have experienced some of the things others have.

Would I change anything? No. My life is the way it is today because of each bump, scratch, and tear. I like where I am today. There are many more things to learn, perhaps even more suffering, but each experience is a gift. One of my friends told me that many people are upset with life because of what life does to them. He told me that life doesn’t do anything to us—life does things for us. To rephrase, it’s not what is done to us, but what is done for us.

We are all here to learn through experience. God wants us to come home, but only when we have learned to serve others, to love others, and receive the love of others. When we achieve that state, we can then become Co-workers with God and carry out our mission for the good of all.

I hope each of you has a terrific Thursday.

Until next time…