The passing of time Have you ever been to a family reunion, wedding, funeral, or some other social gathering where someone remembers you, and you can't remember ever meeting them at all? Recently, I met a nice couple at a 60th Anniversary Dinner for some friends. They were telling others around us all these wonderful things about me that they remembered from when I was in my early 20's. I know they weren't making things up, because their facts were straight. I just don't remember this specific couple at all. Granted, that was 30-something years ago, and they've changed, and so have I. But it disturbed me to think that not even one particle of memory had been reserved in my brain for remembering this sweet couple. Yes, old age is finally taking its toll on me. I'm not getting any younger. (They say when you get old that there are 3 things that happen: First, you start forgetting things. Secondly... secondly... er, I've forgotten what the other two things are. lol)

I have to admit that it stroked my ego a bit to think that these folks would remember so many specific things about me from my youth. It made me realize that my life- intentionally or not- had influenced the lives of others. (Here might be a good place to stick in a plug for one of my favorite Christmas movies- "It's A Wonderful Life.") And that made me think a bit more... what type of impact has my life had on others since making such a profound impression in the lives of this older couple? Have I selfishly lived a life to please myself, or has my life been one of sacrifice and caring for others- the type of life that Christ exemplified while on this earth? Before I go beating myself up, yes, I realize I'm not perfect, and any effort on my part to live such a life would fall far short of my goal. But, seriously... have I lived only for myself and to myself, or have I made any real difference at all in this world? I'm not talking about money, fame, power, position, prestige. I've had a little of each of these, and they don't satisfy. I think maybe I'm beginning to realize what Christ meant when he said "he who seeks to save his life shall lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake shall find it." (I know that is a rough translation of that verse, but give me a break. I'm dealing with a failing memory here. )

So, if I've lived a life around you that has been all devoted to self, my apologies to you. Sadly, I was so busy chasing my own dreams that I didn't notice you. That should never have happened. I do still remember some things. I remember that when I was young I was much more idealistic and optimistic, and somewhere along the way I became a bit pessimistic and began to compromise- just to fit in, get along, get ahead, and get by. (And that shouldn't have happened either.) So... here it is... my one and only apology for being a selfish jerk. (I know a lot of people have waited a long time for this day to come.)

(Sound effects- drum roll, tympani, etc.)

"I really am a selfish guy at times, and if I've ever offended you, my sincerest apologies. I will try much harder to be a more kind, loving, compassionate, and caring person from this point forward. And I do mean that from the bottom of my heart!" (and if I don't remember you, well, please forgive me for that as well... I'm working with used equipment here.)