Friday, February 06, 2009

The 23rd Psalm

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.” – Psalm 23:6

Lost” could be my favorite TV show of all time. One of my favorite episodes was from the second season. It was entitled “The 23rd Psalm.”

This episode focused on the story of Mr. Eko, a former African drug lord turned priest, and followed him on his path to ultimately find redemption. At the end of the show, we see Mr. Eko reciting the 23rd Psalm on the beach next to a burning pile of brush that was the remnants of a church he was trying to build on the island. It was one of the most memorable episodes for me.

Mr. Eko reciting the 23rd Psalm on "Lost"

I heard the 23rd Psalm recited at my great aunt’s funeral last Friday. Tomorrow I am attending the funeral for a cousin, and I will likely hear it there as well. And the weekend after that at the funeral for a friend back in my hometown.

That makes three funerals in three weeks.

As sad as funerals are, in a strange sort of way they also end up being nice occasions. A celebration, even. Last weekend I got to see so many relatives and friends of the family that I had not seen in years. I met relatives that I had never met before. I heard fantastic (and often funny) stories about the good old days back in my Dad’s hometown, which had quite the cast of characters. It was beautiful.

I expect a similar experience tomorrow. And the weekend after that.

Me with my parents, aunt and uncle, and cousin, taken last weekend

I have been fortunate to have the most loving, caring group of people in my life. Both sides of my family are the best of the best. They are the people who taught me to be a leader and not a follower, that the reward for a job well done is more work, and that you treat others the way you would like to be treated. I don't know how I came to be so lucky, as they say you can't choose your family. I couldn't have chosen a better one.

But it goes beyond family. I had the best teachers growing up. I have the best group of friends. Even my co-workers are outstanding people who show me on a daily basis the value of teamwork, selflessness, and helping those in need of support.

I am truly surrounded by good people. What more could a person ask for?

Until next time,

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