Friday, March 27, 2009

Daily Digest #255

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. —Colossians 3:17

I can't help but remember the book "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom. It tells a tale about a man, Eddie, who is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It's a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his meaningless life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: Why was I here? A moving and profound contemporary fable, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is an important reminder of the interconnectedness of us all. (review from Google Book Search)

I would like to share some of the memorable quotes in the book. But before you read below, let us pray. May we always remember that we are who we are, and where we are, for a purpose. May we give glory to God in everything that we do -- counting our blessings, and doing our utmost for the time given to us. Pray always.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven: Memorable Quotes

No story sits by itself. Sometimes stories meet at corners and sometimes they cover one another completely, like stones beneath a river. (p. 10)

People think of heaven as a paradise garden, a place where they can float on clouds and laze in rivers and mountains. But scenery without solice is meaningless. (p. 35)

This is the greatest gift God can give you: to understand what happened in your life. To have it explained. It is the peace you have been searching for. (p. 35)

The human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. (p. 48)

Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know. (p. 49)

No life is a waste. The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone. (p. 50)

Young men go to war. Sometimes because they have to, sometimes because they want to. Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life, which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down. (p. 57)

Time is not what you think. Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on earth is only the beginning. (p. 91)

Sacrifice, you made one. I made one. We all make them. But you are angry over yours. You kept thinking about what you lost… You didn’t get it. Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something you regret. It’s something to aspire to. Little sacrifices. Big sacrifices. A mother works so her son can go to school. A daughter moves home to care of her sick father. (p. 93)

Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else. (p. 94)

All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhood completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair. (p. 104)

You have peace when you make it with yourself. (p. 113)

Parents rarely let go of their children, so children let go of them. They move away. The moments that used to define them—a mother’s approval, a father’s nod—are covered by moments of their own accomplishments. It is not until much later, as the skin sags and the heart weakens, that children understand; their stories, and all their accomplishments, sit atop the stories of their mothers and fathers, stones upon stones, beneath the waters of their lives. (p. 126)

Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves. (p. 141)

People say they “find” love, as if it were an object hidden by a rock. But love takes many forms, and it is never the same for any man and woman. What people find then is a certain love. (p. 155)

Love, like rain, can nourish from above, drenching couples with a soaking joy. But sometimes, under the angry heat of life, love dries on the surface and must nourish from below, tending to its roots, keeping itself alive. (p. 165)

Life has to end. Love doesn’t. (p. 173)

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