There are people who will gently touch a beautifully wrapped gift and appreciate the colors of the wrapping paper, the shape of the bow and ribbons, and if the gift comes with a card, they will gently grab it and read its content. They proceed quite slowly to find the scotch tape and remove it without tearing the paper. They will go through every single piece of scotch tape they can find as onlookers struggle to contain their anxious, desperate need to snatch the gift and tear it open. Anticipation can be a delight for some and a cruelty for others.
Other folks do not stop to admire the colors of the wrapping paper or the bow for a single minute. They leave the card for later and will yank everything apart as fast as possible to get to what matters, the prize inside.
There is no right or wrong way to open a gift for it is a matter of personal choice and personality. For the most part, children are prone to tear the gifts open as fast as possible and most adults will indulge in the beauty of the package and appreciate the effort and talent involved.
Could this be said about approaching life? Patience has never been my virtue and after living for over half a century I still wrestle with the idea of slowing down. I am getting better though, but still cannot sit still through a movie unless I find it extremely intriguing. Seldom do I finish reading instruction pamphlets hence my many setbacks in life. I wanted to be an adult so fast that I skipped adolescence.
Life has taught me many lessons and one of those lessons is to enjoy the journey towards my goals. To stop and smell the roses we say but seldom mean it especially these days when we are so eager to go back to our “normal” lives. I have learned the prize is waiting at the end of the road, and the road is full of flowers, and cacti, and intersections and unexpected turns. Sometimes as one walks on this road, a dog or a pack of dogs will bark fiercely and scare the living daylights out of us; some will bite us. But maturity, or the wisdom that can come with aging, should prompt us to keep moving. I write can because wisdom in old age is not a guarantee.
Life is beautifully wrapped with amazing colors; the colors of the sunset and the sky, but even more beautiful are the colors in the kindness of people, smiles and hugs even if from a distance, friendships, and charitable deeds. Life is worth slowing down to appreciate what is hidden around us. This pandemic has brought to light many of the people and circumstances we have been taking for granted. I do not want to be in a rush anymore; what will come, will come.
One of my sons once shared with me an old adage that says, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
How about you? How do you open your present?