There are lots of things that can be divided into quarters.

A dollar.  A loaf of bread.  A basketball game.  College. A tank of gas.  And, of course, a year.

We are now in the last quarter of the year.

You are welcome to silently comment on how quickly the year has gone by.  274 days ago it was New Year’s Day.

Where did the time go?

It didn’t go anywhere.

It’s right here.

If we’re lucky, we’ll live until the end of the year. It’s not really luck . . . more like grace.  By the grace of ______ perhaps I’ll live another 91 days.  Perhaps more.  91 days is the length of the fourth quarter.

There’s a certain amount of stress that comes with knowing you’re playing in the fourth quarter.  A bit of pressure.  Some agitation.

When the fourth quarter starts in a game, there’s often a signal.  A buzzer. A flag. It wakes you up.  It reminds you the end of the game is in sight.

That’s what I have to offer to you.  Here we go:

BUZZER (loud)

You pause to reflect.  For a moment or two, you step back from life.  I encourage you to take more time than that.  Take 20 minutes.  Take an hour.  Ponder the year.  Ponder your life.  Your priceless, miraculous life that you were taking for granted just as the buzzer went off.  Just as the fourth quarter was about to start.

Ponder how your life, and mine, and everyone else’s, is hanging by a thread.  That thread may not last the rest of the year.  You may not get to the end of the quarter.  Some of us won’t.

“Why so morbid?” says the little red squirrel sitting on the deck with me. “

“That’s not morbid,” says the chickadee. “It’s designed to inspire, to arouse.”

I’m always amazed at the wisdom of animals.

Eugene O’Kelly was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 53 and given 100 days to live (McGraw-Hill, 2006).  He vowed to make them the best 100 days of his life.

You’re facing 91 days starting now:

91 mornings91 sunsets.

What can you do with those days that will give your life meaning?  Whose lives will you touch and how?  What earthly manifestations will your creativity give birth to?

Whether you are healthy or sick, this is a matter of urgency. Don’t fall back to sleep.

The Great Eastern Sun beckons you to rise to the occasion.

Gregg Krech is the author of many books on Japanese Psychology including, The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology (2014). 


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