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Use The Good China

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During the past few months, I have had the sad experience to attend 3 funerals. The first one was more or less expected – my grandmother was 99 when she passed – but the other two really hit me like a ton of bricks. These deaths came as complete surprises to everyone who was close to the deceased. After I had a chance to reflect back and really take in these tragic losses, I was reminded of something my grandmother always said, “Don’t be afraid to use the good china.” As a youngster I thought it was pretty cool to be able to handle those really nice dishes. It made a regular afternoon meal all the more special. Later, I figured out the real meaning of what she was doing by using the good china. The example she was providing was showing me that people should live while they’re living because you never know when your last day on Earth will come.

As a devout Christian, she had no real fear of dying, but at the same time she also had no real fear of living either. She and my grandfather spent many years travelling all across the United States and they experienced many, many wonderful events during their travels. They started off each day quoting the scripture, “This is the day the Lord has made, and we will rejoice in it.” There were many times that she turned this into a declaration with special emphasis on the word “will” as to assert their confidence in what was to come on that day, no matter what kind of struggles they might have been facing. I always really liked that. It says to me that I need to make a special effort to rejoice and appreciate all that God has laid out for me.

I wonder what it would be like if we could live our lives completely without fear, without any regrets. What could be accomplished if we knew we could not fail? What adventures would we have, what wonders could we see if we knew that the risks were not only worth the reward, but they were minimal at best. The fear of what’s to come would disappear along with the fear of breaking a precious dish. The anxiety of what people might be thinking about us would vanish and our eyes would open to all that’s out there in the world for us to enjoy. Maybe this is all a bit speculative, but it’s a good goal - a good mindset in my opinion.

I think that fear can paralyze, but faith can energize. With the faith and confidence that we should have in our Lord, all things are possible. Adventure, romance, breathtaking sights and sounds are all out there and they are calling us. Calling us to come and enjoy – to be a part of this beautiful world. However, it’s not very likely that these things are going to just show up at your doorstep one day. You have to get out there and live life fully. So, get out there and be a great human being, take risks, and if you break a few dishes along the way who cares?

Alan Shoalmire is a resident in Grimes County and the owner of Grill Sergeant Hotdogs and submits a column to the Navasota Examiner every other week.