It's only 11 days into the new year, and I am already soul searching and evaluating mistakes. Someone who used to work with me passed away in December from a rare form of cancer, and I found out about it this morning. He didn't develop cancer until after he left our place of employment. I haven't seen this man since he left the workplace, but I have thought about him occasionally.
Unfortunately, this young man was very unhappy. I tried to be a friend to him. We often ate our lunch together in the break room. I tried to brighten his unhappy outlook on life. Nothing I did seemed to work. He was intent on being unhappy, and always seeing black clouds instead of silver linings. I felt sorry for him.
There came a day when I realized that trying to put a smile on his face was making me frown. It seemed nothing I did or said made a difference in his life, but he was pulling me down. So I began to find something else to do during my breaks, and someone else to be with during lunch. He was a "drag," or a "downer."
He was 33 years old when he passed away. I'm sad today. I'm sad that he had an unhappy life -- or at least he couldn't share his happiness with others. I'm sad that I gave up on friendship with him. I shouldn't have done that. I should have tried harder. Maybe I should have shared with him how I was feeling about his attitude. Maybe I could have found a way to make a difference. Could I have brightened his time on this earth just a little? Would that have been too great a sacrifice? What more could I have done to help him? What more could I have done to be a friend?
The truly haunting question is, where would I be if the Saviour ever gave up on me? I'm sure I was a "drag," and a "downer," in the Garden of Gethsemane. How many drops of blood did He sacrifice for me? I'm guilty of giving up on one of Heavenly Father's children -- because it was easier than working with him to help him solve his problems. What kind of Christian does that make me? Not a very good one, I'm sure.
What will I do the next time someone passes through my life? How will I respond? Will I be a better friend? Will I learn something from this experience? I certainly hope so.