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More  DLW writings
Now I am in the winter season of my life.   The years I have been granted were filled with good times.  And yet, I wonder if my life might have been fuller and richer.  Looking back now, I realize I was too caught up in the pursuit of trivial things.  I regret to say that I was just too busy to think much about God.

I always loved the overwhelming wonder and beauty of nature.  As a child, I lay in the grass and looked up at the vast blue sky, soaking up the warming rays of the sun. I climbed the trees like they were jungle gyms put in my yard just for me.  I picked flowers for my mama, swam in the great oceans with my brother, and hiked in the mountains with friends.
And if I had loved God? I wonder if I would  have experienced nature in a more meaningful way.  Might I have seen the sun as a reminder of how God watches over us with loving warmth;  the moon and stars, how He provides us light in the darkness; and the very air we breathe, in its constancy and omnipresence, how He is always near.  What comfort that would have given me in those lonely times filled with fear and doubt.

I always adored my friends.  They were a continual source of good cheer and laughter. I relished in their caring and giving of themselves.  I'd like to think I gave a lot in return.
And if I had loved God?   If I had realized His expectations of me, might I have been a better friend?  I know at times I made them smile; but did I ever bring them real comfort?  I guess there were times that I relieved their boredom; but did I ever relieve their suffering?  I fear that I received more than I gave.  Perhaps because I did not have so much to give? Had I the love of God within me, maybe I could have been a blessing, not just a buddy.  If I had  appreciated that they were His precious creations, would I have treated my friends and neighbors, even strangers, with greater respect and regard?  At the very least, I surely would have been kinder.

I always loved my family with all of my heart.  My love for them has been the singular sustaining constant in my life.  They were a present from heaven a daily blessing in my life that I did nothing to deserve.  I never fully appreciated that the Almighty gave me the gift of life, wrapped up in the love of a wonderful family.
And if I had loved God? Would I have been a better son, brother, uncle, nephew?  Might I have had something more special within me to share with them?  Would I have made their lives better?   I saw how my mother and father loved the Lord  and how it filled them up with  goodness and decency that touched so many others around them.  They were my role models and I wanted to be like them.  I just didn't see that I needed God in my life in order to do that.  If I had, perhaps I might have been a role model for someone else.
   
I should have loved God. I think I would have had more peace.  I might have loved more, loved deeper, given more, indeed had more to give others.  I think I was kind; but I could have been generous.  I think I was good; but I could have been noble.  Whatever I was, or whatever I did,  I believe now that I was less and accomplished less than the people I've known whose souls were made beautiful by their love of the Lord.

I have always enjoyed the many gifts I've received in this life.  Unfortunately, for a long time, I failed to appreciate the Giver of Gifts, and did not see what was missing from my life. But I have finally come to understand that God is the source of all love, goodness, and worthiness.  I realize that to be filled with these things, one must have a relationship with God and live a life that honors Him.  Now I know the sweet joy of loving my Heavenly Father and experiencing the wonder of His presence in my life.  This, I've discovered, is the greatest of all gifts! This love has given my life peace and a purpose, meaning and a mission. It has made me whole and content within myself, and yet, at the same time more connected to others and able to truly love them.  It is my prayer for all those who come after me, that they will know and love God throughout their lives, so they may live and love as fully and deeply as the human heart and soul allow.
David L. Weatherford
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