Tag Archives: carpe diem

Today in history

On this day in 1785, Benjamin Franklin announced the invention of bi-focals. For all of us who have moved on to the wonderful world of progressive lenses, thanks Ben. If you see someone bobbing his head like a crazed parakeet, you can assume they are wearing progressives. A new disease has been discovered for such unfortunates: Neck-jerk-itis.

On this day in 1876, Boston’s Joe Borden threw the first no-hitter in National League history. Watching the Atlanta Braves, I wonder if ole Joe has anything left on his fastball. It would be great if he could still hit a lick.

On this day in 1618, the 2nd Defenestration of Prague occurred. What is a ‘defenestration’ you ask? It is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. The first of these breath-taking events happened in 1419. The second involved two Catholic lord regents and their secretary. Faster than you can say ‘defenestration’ these three were tossed out the window to land on the street 70 feet below. Here’s the good news: None of the men were injured seriously. The bad news: the incident set off the 30 Years War. Here are the rules I just made up for defenestrating somebody:

  • Make sure you are higher than the first floor or you lose some of the drama.
  • Make sure you have enough help to pick up and throw the miscreant.
  • Make sure you open the window.
  • Make sure they guy doesn’t have a bunch of big, strong friends.
  • Make sure you record this for the sake of history – you could have the 3rd Defenestration all to yourself.

So what will you do to make history today? This is the only May 23, 2016 you get. It’s a gift from your Creator. Unwrap the gift and have at it.

Carpe diem!

Just how old are you?

A man received a phone call from his grandson to wish him a happy birthday. In the course of the conversation, the boy asked, “Just how old are you?” The man replied, “I’m 62.” There was silence for a moment before the boy spoke: “Did you start at 1?”

Life isn’t always measured by length of years but by experiences. A little girl was quizzing her grandmother about how things were when she grew up. Grandma responded: “We used to skate outside on a frozen pond during the winter. I had a swing my dad made out of an old tire; it hung in the front yard from a big oak tree. We rode a pony our grandfather bought for us. We would go out to the woods and pick wild raspberries and blackberries.” The girl listened in wild-eyed amazement, trying to take all this in. At last she said, “I sure wish I’d gotten to know you sooner.”

Some people do their best stuff later in life. Some start early. Some find their rhythm somewhere along the way. Susan Boyle at 48 was an unknown until she stepped on the stage of “Britain’s Got Talent” reality TV show. She sang: “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables and brought the house down. She launched her singing career that night. Laura Ingalls Wilder, of “Little House in the Big Woods” fame, didn’t publish her first book until she was 64. Grandma Moses didn’t start to paint until she was 76.

The Bible is full of stories about men and women whose accomplishments exhibit the possibilities of time – not chronos, time measured by seconds, minutes, hours, or years, but kairos, time that refers to opportunity or the right moment. What time is it for you?

Moses was 80 when God called him to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Caleb was 85 when he asked to be given the hill country in Canaan. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were young men when they refused to bow before Nebuchadnezzar. Esther was a young woman when she became queen. Joseph was 17 when his world was turned upside down. Jesus was 12 when He amazed the teachers and scribes at the Temple.

So, just how old are you? And what are you going to do with the rest of your life?

Carpe diem!


Transition: a passing from one condition, form, activity, place, etc. to another; the period of such passing (Webster’s New World Dictionary). Life is full of transitions. Life changes. Babies are born, kids grow up, young people mature, adults move through seasons of life. The average person will change jobs 5 to 11 times in adulthood, depending on whose statistics you believe. Technology changes at warp speed. Information overload is smothering us. Life happens, ready or not. Death occurs, ready or not.

Life progresses and we worry about different things. You could follow an interesting trail by focusing on something like hair. A baby is born: “He sure doesn’t have much hair.” The toddler has a head full of curls: “When will he get his first haircut?” The teenager displays some attitude: “Is there something living in that mess on top of your head?” The young man readies for an important interview: “What does my hair have to do with making a good impression?” A middle age guy checks out the mirror: “Where did all that gray hair come from?” An old dude walks by: “He sure doesn’t have much hair.”

Having a strong sense of self-worth helps. Hugh O’Brian is a name baby boomers will remember. He played Wyatt Earp on television along with starring in movies and on Broadway. Reminiscing over his career, he made this observation: “You go through at least five stages in my business and in life. First stage – “Who is Hugh O’Brian?” Second stage – “Get me Hugh O’Brian!” Third stage – “Get me a Hugh O’Brian type!” Fourth stage – “Get me a younger Hugh O’Brian!” Fifth stage – “Who is Hugh O’Brian?”

Transitions can be tough. We cope in different ways. You’ve heard the saying: “The older I get, the better I was.” Some of us turn to fantasy. Others of us are trapped in the past by memories that can overwhelm us with regret and pain. Some of us seek to relive the glory days, not wanting to realize the glory days won’t be coming back.

Paul had a definite approach to transitions in his life. He wrote to the Philippians: “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (3:13,14).

Today is too important and tomorrow is too promising to live in yesterday. Jesus told us that each day has enough challenge of its own (Matthew 6:34). Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!