Altar Call – Opelika-Auburn News

Walter Albritton

August 7, 2016


Things worth doing the rest of your life  


Life is about being and doing. Being has to do with our identity. Each of us must decide what it means to “be” an American or to “be” a nurse, a mechanic, a teacher, a father, a mother or a hairdresser. Being involves ideas, principles and values.

 Doing is the more practical side of life. There are certain things we have to do: brush our teeth, take out the garbage, prepare and eat food or wash clothes. Then there are things that are voluntary – things you can do or not do depending on your core values.

Some things are worth doing; some things are not. Today I want to propose ten things that are worth doing the rest of your life.

1. Encourage others. Encouragement matters.  Everybody needs it. Everybody can give it. Nobody lives well without it. People cannot survive, much less thrive, without encouragement. So look for ways to give it to somebody every day.

2. Speak graciously to others. Be friendly instead of rude or indifferent. Our culture is too impersonal. Resist the temptation to mimic the indifference of others. Be friendly; say “thank you.” Kindness can be a breath of fresh air.

3. Smile at people. A frown requires more energy than a smile. Smile even when you are hurting. I smile because I don’t want a stranger to say, "There goes an old sourpuss; he must have heartburn." We have a choice when we meet people. We can frown, stare indifferently or smile. So smile.   

4. Have a positive attitude.  Be positive even when others are negative. Negative talk helps no one. You will never go home at night, put your head on your pillow and say, "All that negative talk did me a lot of good today!" Positive thinking inspires others – so inspire people.  

5. Tell your friends how much they mean to you. Your friends need to know you care.  If you don’t tell them, they may never know. A good friend is more precious than money. Value and cultivate friendships. We can afford to lose our possessions; we cannot afford to lose our friends. Admit it: we need each other.

6. Do a good deed for someone in need. A good deed can be a simple act of kindness. Call someone who is lonely. Send someone a note, a card or a letter. Share figs or cookies with someone. Take someone to lunch. Give someone who is sick or discouraged a good book or a gift card. Express your love in small and wonderful ways.

7. Enjoy the beauty around you. Take a moment to watch the rain fall or the tree tops swaying in the wind. Throw some cornbread to little sparrows searching for food. Admire the flowers that dare to bloom even in winter. Study the changing shapes and colors of a sunrise or a sunset. See if the moon is full. The world is filled with beauty so enjoy it!

8. Write a few lines in your Bible. Jot down what a certain verse or passage means to you. One day you will be gone but your Bible will still be around. Leave a few choice observations for your children or grandchildren to enjoy when they are looking through your Bible. Your faith can bless them after you are gone.

9. Take time to pray. Pray for your family and your friends. Pray for the people who irritate you. Pray for our nation and our leaders. Pray for understanding so that you can use your time wisely by doing things that are worth doing. Give thanks for your blessings.  Enjoy what you have.  Be satisfied with it. Do not envy your neighbor. Contentment is its own reward.

10. Apply the sweet oil of forgiveness to your wounds. Forgive yourself. Forgive people who have hurt you. Swallow your pride. Pride is an infection of the soul for which forgiveness is the best medicine. Use it liberally.

I hope you agree that these are a few things that are worth doing as long as you have breath. So, since you don’t know when that last breath will be, get busy! + + +