It is an awakening experience to watch somebody you love pass on. Last Thursday night I did exactly this as I watched my grandmother take her final breath along side my family. As I looked about the room I caught myself thinking that maybe we mourn the passing of our loved ones ,in part, because the person we love is no longer with us, but also because we come face to face with our own mortality, and that time, is too, leading us to a stiff and empty vessel.

Time is something we do not possess but are possessed by, and, like most, I wish I had more all the while wasting what I have been given. It is alluring to believe time as being something I can burrow deep in my pocket and horde away like a squirrel hiding away nuts for the winter.

Like a tree it is in mans nature to grow and evolve. However, unlike man, trees have no choice. Through time nature provides the conditions of rain, soil, and sunlight. The roots must grow and the branches must bear fruit. But in my humanity, I have a choice: I can neglect my evolution by avoiding the life in front of me. Unlike trees, whose lives are predetermined, the fruit that I come to bear is a reflection of the way I choose to live. Thus, Destiny unfolds one choice at a time.

Therefore, growth is a habit and not a coincidental occurrence. As humans we must learn to dance with the sorrowful rains and the joyful rays that nourish us into fullness. And in our more mundane and arduous affairs ,we must come to see the potential to cultivate ourselves into men and women of substance and depth. In doing this leaders are born. Not leaders of a group in the traditional sense. But, first and forevermore, of ourselves.

If we are to live this life to its fullness, we must chop wood and carry water. One must fall in love with the plain and the simple. The arduous and the easy. The boring and the exciting. If not one runs the risk of looking up and and having spent their time only in pursuit of famous moments to capture for Instagram; a world that is rather indifferent to you and I having lived a worthy life. One day every one of us, no matter how long or short our time, will find ourselves in the wake of life. The day we know not. Nor the hour or cause. But what we do know is the clock is ticking and the time is passing and where my grandmother lay this weekend we to one day will and ask ourselves, “My God, where has the time gone.” Not as a question but as statement of Truth.