Sitting it Out??? — Don’t!

Posted: August 15, 2016 in World On The Edge

ballet-1566561_960_720One of my sons once told me that he did not want to be a spectator in life, he wanted to be a participator.

What does being a participator mean? To take part, to be or become actively involved. So, the  way I heard it was that he did not want to ‘sit-out’ his life on the sideline. He wanted to dance!

Thank goodness and Hallelujah!! Because that is what I’ve wanted for all my children, and grandchildren, and I haven’t been disappointed.

Today, it’s hard for children to participate as they once did; the world has become so dangerous. But here’s a trip down memory lane.

My family lived nearly ten years in Scottsboro, Alabama, a small, mountainous, and beautiful town off the Tennessee River. I wonder if neighborhoods like the one I experienced in Scottsboro are able to exist anymore; it’s so important, now, to keep your children close at hand. But then, our children were free to go most anywhere; roaming the woods, riding miles on bicycles, paddling around Roseberry Creek which led to the river near the neighborhood dock. There, we had cook-outs, and lots of boating, skiing and swimming (while watching out for cotton mouth moccasins, of course.) The children never sat down. They took part, actively involved with others; family and neighbors. My cousin and her family lived steps away from us, and so did the finest neighbors anywhere.

We were blessed to be there at the time we were, with those people, in that place of beauty. It wasn’t necessarily what we did, but who we were doing it with that made us happiest.

My oldest son–always doing, never sitting–was about nine years old, when he came to me one night after we’d gotten home from a gathering at the dock. “Mama, this was a good day,” he said. “In fact, it was the best day of my life.”

What would make him say that? He was a child, for one thing. He lived in the present moment. He did not look back and grieve over something that happened yesterday, and he wasn’t troubled about the future. What affected him most was a day he actively did all the things he loved to do. In other words, he danced.

As adults, do we appreciate a good day?  What about when a bad day happens? Can we  learn from it? Because it’s often the worst day of our life that starts us on a path of hope, and active  striving that ultimately achieves our best day. When we realize that tomorrow can produce a better day, we are experiencing a divine virtue we receive through the grace of God, called hope.

And hope insists on participation, not sitting on the sideline and whining.

Hope is what keeps us going. Hope is the possibility of change. If we participate with God in the virtue of hope He has given us, then even the worst days have power enough to become the best days of our life.

At one time or another in each of their lives, I had my five children listen to the song that follows. I told them  and I say to them now,  If you have a choice to sit it out or dance–I hope you DANCE.


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