Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Love Life - and Let It Love You Back

A man had just taken his annual physical exam and was waiting for the doctor's initial report. After a few minutes the doctor came in with his charts in hand and said, "There's no reason why you can't live a completely normal life as long as you don't try to enjoy it."

One of the great keys to successful living is to ignore that doctor's recommendation and enjoy life as much as possible. Living well is difficult. Learn to enjoy it. Decide to be happy.

I once heard a story that you are sure to appreciate, even if you don’t know (or care) much about baseball. It occurred many years ago, back when Branch Rickey was managing the St. Louis Browns baseball team. The Browns happened to be playing against the Detroit Tigers and the immortal Ty Cobb came to bat with two outs and the bases empty in the last inning of a tie game. Cobb drew a base on balls. Once at first, Cobb took a risky lead. His daring, his pure desire to make the most of the moment, rattled the pitcher. The pick-off throw was wild and Cobb dashed. He made a defiant turn at second, forcing another wild throw, slid 10 feet into third and watched as the dazed third baseman muffed the catch. Cobb sprang to his feet and sped for home. By sheer adventure and skill he made what amounted to a home run out of a base on balls!

Ty Cobb’s Tigers won and the Browns lost as a result. But, Branch Rickey, the opposing manager, was thrilled. He had the privilege of witnessing Ty Cobb's irrepressible love of the game, a quality that set him apart from most other players. Rickey later commented, "If a player really loves this game, it'll love him back."

So it is with all of life. If I really want to love life, I must give it all I have. And if I give myself to it fully, I enjoy it more. If I try to truly live every moment and pay attention, if I laugh more and worry less, I find more joy -- even in the struggles. 

Henry Van Dyke said, "Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look at the stars."

Do you love life? After all, it’s giving you a chance to work and play and gaze at the stars. Be glad. Enjoy! Learn to love it...and let it love you back.

-- Steve Goodier

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