Since I’ve been a boy, my Dad has told me a thousand times: “Nothing is dynamic, until it is specific!” When I would talk about wanting to change the world, he’d tell me to start by making my bed. Now that I’m the dad, I’ve found myself making the same pronouncements.

Focus matters. The truth of this comes to us in a myriad of ways. One can talk about love, but it’s in the doing that love comes to life. One can speak of patriotism, but it’s as the citizen does his citizenly duties that he shows his true measure of gratitude.

Deadlines have a way of making us focus, at pace, in order to get things done. Events in our lives bring deadlines with them: they bring a required attention to detail, along with a sense of urgency. “Nothing so focuses the mind,” Mark Twain once wrote, “as the prospect of being hanged.”

Planning and producing an event presents the proverbial prospect of “being hanged.” Some of you can relate. (lol) But that gathers up energy and intention in us, which rallies us to get things done that might otherwise just…linger.

There’s another way that events help us. Events help us to “re-member” — a word which, when written with that hyphen, reminds us to re-connect and re-root with the communities and ideas that matter most to us.

We are prone to forget the importance of those communities and ideas in our lives. Events (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, the Lord’s Day) help us to “re-member” ourselves. Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, President’s Day and MLK Day are key, for example, in re-membering us with the people and ideals of our great nation.

And, lastly (how could we neglect to say it?), events also help us by giving us artifacts: snapshots from the grand tapestry of each of our lives. Artifacts freeze sometimes fleeting moments, and press in time memories that might otherwise be lost to the memories that passing time can take away.

Indeed, events can help us. May they be a help for you!

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