We never know which moment will be our last. It could be this one, or any one of the next hundred years. Honor comes from standing tall, living each moment strong, as though it is your last. All the while, we must plan for life to continue.
I remember the days my sweetheart had responsibility for national safety in his job with the United States Navy. He was gone from our family frequently, and at odd hours of the day and night. Life for him was not easy. Though no active battle was fought, he participated in the cold war, protecting us from very real possible attack. For many long hours, he was found at his assigned post. In his 21 years, we could count on one hand the years we had Christmas or New Year’s Day together for the whole day.
I, too, was at my post, maintaining our home and nurturing our children. There were many lonely days and nights, days when the children attempted to be quiet because “daddy’s sleeping.” Special days were spent without daddy. I took the children to the zoo and birthday parties, and church, and many other places, alone. He was working or sleeping to go back to work. I nurtured, I waited, and welcomed the time we were together.
Through it all, we had plans for the future—retire, get new jobs, learn to live a civilian life, watch our children grow, and grow old together. Of course, there were other goals, other dreams, other plans. Some, we managed to achieve. Some we decided were not worth pursuing, and new goals and dreams were set.
Life is never easy. Some moments seem to be wonderful and smooth, but those moments don’t last. On days and years when life is less than wonderful, one is tempted to bury the head in the pillow and stay in bed. But life continues, and we must claw out of bed and depression into the bright light of day and responsibilities.
Some give up, stop planning, stop dreaming, stop trying. The next years, even decades of their lives are sad, undirected. Each of us is responsible for our own lives. Often, we are responsible for much more than that. We have families, religion, neighbors, and work. These responsibilities call to us.
I like the quote by CS Lewis: “Be found at one’s post, living each day as though it were our last, but planning as though our world might last 100 years.” Regardless of our station in life, we have responsibilities, a “post to man.” Giving up is not a choice. We live our best, never knowing if Father in Heaven will call us home. We attempt to live honorably, with hope and trust.
We are created with the desire to live; we do all we can to hang onto this dear life. We may fear the change brought by our moving to the next life, or may look forward to it. Either way, we find ourselves doing all we can to continue breathing. I have seen older folks struggle to breathe, to maintain life even when that life had little “quality,” supported by intense mechanical means.
As I have been considering the life of Eve and Adam I have wondered that they could maintain a zest for life over their hundreds of years. Events that would drag a lesser person to the depths of sorrow and depression were overcome; loss became stepping stones to greater life. These noble parents did more than just survive; they lived life joyfully, embracing new situations, welcoming opportunities to learn. Eve stood at her post, her home, whether working beside Adam to subdue the earth, or wait for him as he traveled to preach the Gospel of the Savior to their children. Together they lived life with verve, to the fullest, planning to live many years, making goals, loving family.
Can we do any less? Stand firm at the post we have been assigned. Live life fully as though it may be our last. And through it all, plan to live a long and happy life. Sounds easy? Maybe, but it is possible. It can be done. Live honorably. Love your neighbor and yourself. Plan for the future. Move forward always doing your very best. In this, we can hope for a better life in the next world with our Father.