Day 24 – “ASTERISK”

Day 24 – “ASTERISK”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.


If you just joined Earth in the last few days or weeks, welcome to Earth 2020, the year of the asterisk.

Of all the ways to describe all that’s been happening, this seems like one of the most accurate.

It basically means that everything is open to change.

There is very little right now that is set in stone, fewer and fewer things that you can “take to the bank” (which you probably couldn’t do anyway unless it’s to the drive thru).

We have a bound scheduler that sits on our kitchen desk.

Each week I look at the various items that we had penciled in on it for sporting events or other activities.

Some have been actually crossed out but the others… well, do we even need to cross them out?

They’re cancelled, postponed, rescheduled, wait and see.

The only thing you can count on is that you’ve probably got a Zoom call some time this week… with someone who doesn’t understand the technology.



I can never remember a time when it was so difficult to even think of planning anything.

Ironically, in the past (you know, like two months ago), you might try to plan a get-together with someone and have to work around their schedule, their kids’ schedules and a myriad of other time-sucking items.

But now… when we actually have more time than we’ve ever had, seemingly… it’s hard to plan because we just don’t even know what tomorrow will look like.

Honestly, how far in advance can you even schedule something out and know that you’ll be able to do the thing you wanted to do?

Will there be fans at sporting events this summer? This fall? This year?

When will concerts happen again?

Will the cruise industry ever come back and what will it look like?

If your birthday is in June, will you be able to “go out” to celebrate? Will your favorite restaurant be open for business? Will anyone else be there?


There is a passage in the Bible that came to mind regarding this, in James chapter 4.

There, James talks about people who were confidently making plans without really knowing what would come their way.

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”   -James 4:13-15

It’s so true.

I’m certainly guilty of doing that most of my life. Making plans confidently without considering that life can change just like that.

I love the passage because it helps direct us to something “un-asterisked” in the middle of a fluid world.

For me, it’s helped me take a step back and refocus on what God would want me to do with my today.

How can I love better today, serve better today, give better today, put others first today.

And then if tomorrow comes, I get another day to do it again.



Maybe the best thing that can have an asterisk on it is us.

Maybe we’re the ones that need to be willing to change, to be open to something different in ourselves.

The way we think, what’s important in our lives, our goals and dreams.

Try this.

Next time you write or sign your name, add an asterisk at the end.

And know that that asterisk means “subject to change”.

See you tomorrow.


Day 21 – “SENIORS”

Day 21 – “SENIORS”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.


This is one is for the high school class of 2020.


It wasn’t supposed to go down this way. Your story.

This wasn’t the ending that you or your parents had anticipated twelve years ago as you said goodbye to those old kindergarten halls and graduated to first grade.

It’s that point in the story that no one saw coming. The plot twist that has left all of us searching for some positives out of all this.

I picture the scene from The Princess Bride where the grandfather has just told the grandson that the man in black… the hero of the story… is dead. He was the one to make things right, the one the fate of the people pivoted on. And there he is, dead… and the grandson can’t believe it.

And yet, instead, I picture them telling your story….

Fezzik: The rest of their senior year, wiped out.

Inigo: It just is not fair.

Grandson: Grampa, grampa, wait. What did Fezzik mean ‘wiped out’? I mean, he didn’t mean ‘wiped out’ unless he’s only faking… right?

Grampa: Do you want me to read this or not?

Grandson: Who goes to prom? Who walks at graduation? Who skips on senior skip day? Who gets awarded and recognized? 

Grampa: I don’t understand.

Grandson: Who does all of those things that seniors look forward to for years? Somebody’s gotta do it. Is it this year’s seniors? Who?

Grampa: Nobody. Nobody does those things. They’re cancelled.

Grandson: You mean they lose out on all of that?!! Geez, grampa, what did you read me this thing for?

And I find myself asking the same questions.

Who would have picked this story?

No one.

You seniors wouldn’t have written it this way. Not in a million years (which is about how many it’s been since this last happened).

Your parents would never have wanted this to happen to you either and our hearts break for you.

And yet we find ourselves at that pivotal point in the story.

We can’t change that the man in black is dead… or that all you were looking forward to at the end of this year has been taken from you.

But the story isn’t over.


You Write The Next Chapter

No, you can’t change the hand that you’ve been dealt. But you get to decide what happens next.

This is your moment. Every eye is on you, watching to see what you will do next.

Your parents, your teachers, underclassmen, friends, siblings, neighbors.

All are wondering how your story will go from here.

I believe.

I believe you will rise.

I believe you will shine.

I believe there is a fire inside that will propel each of you to go out and impact your world.

I believe we haven’t seen the best of you yet.

The story is entering a new chapter.

One that only you can write.

What will you do with it?

How will this change you, strengthen you, inspire you?


From Your Parents

To the class of 2020, your parents want you to know how proud we are of you.

As we’ve watched each new development, hoping that there was a chance to salvage something… anything… it has broken our hearts.

But we’re so proud of how you’ve met the loss and the disappointment head-on and have embraced your new reality.

It’s unprecedented.

We’ve never been in your shoes.

But we’re seeing our sons and daughters grow stronger right before our eyes and we are so thankful for each of you.

Know that there are brighter days ahead.

And we can’t wait to celebrate each moment with you.

No, it won’t be like we imagined.

But it will be something totally new.

You are a class that will forever be set apart, special.


Go Change The World

So, just as your world has been turned on its head, go out and make a difference in the new world ahead of you.

Take risks. Find a cause. Make an impact.

The world is waiting for you.

Go change it!