Sunday, December 03, 2023

Time is Precious, Never Waste it

Back in 2017, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch underwent a partisan Senate confirmation hearing process before becoming President Trump’s first appointed Supreme Court Justice. While his Confirmation was not as notable as Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings a year later, there was one moment during Gorsuch’s Confirmation that stuck with me.

During the Confirmation process, then-Senator Ben Sasse (whom, for the record, I heavily disliked during his tenure in the US Senate) asked Gorsuch “… [when] you look back over your career, how will you know if you were a good judge?”

Gorsuch started his answer by referring to an assignment he gave as a professor for his ethics classes. For this assignment, he required his students to write their own obituary. After describing this school assignment, Gorsuch explained what he wanted to see in his obituary–including how he viewed a successful judicial career.

Here is an excerpt of Gorsuch’s response:

“… as a person, I’d like to be remembered as a good dad, good husband, kind and mild and private life–dignified and firm in public life, and I have no illusions that I’ll be remembered for very long … I have no illusions. I won’t last five minutes. That’s as it should be. The great joy in life, Shaw said was ‘devoting yourself to a cause you deem mighty before you are thrown on the scrap heap’. An independent judiciary in this country; I can carry that baton for as long as I can carry it, and I have no illusions I’m going to last as long as you suggest. That will be good enough for me.”

Here is a YouTube video of Gorsuch’s entire response to this question.

Gorsuch’s response highlights a fundamental truth about life. A meaningful, fulfilling life is outward-focused, not self-centeredness.

God, Family, Country–the three highest priorities one can have. A virtuous life in service to one’s family, to one’s country, and to Christ is what we are called to do.

At the end of one’s life, one’s faith in Christ, one’s family, and one’s nation are what will matter most–with Christ being the most important.

At the end of one’s life, the amount of money you made won’t matter. The cool stuff you owned won’t matter. The places you traveled to won’t matter. Trusting in Christ’s promises matters. The love and care you showed to your family matters. The service and dedication you provided to your nation matters.

Whether your young or old, it’s never too late to prioritize the most important aspects of life: God, Family, and Country!

Today’s article was a bit more reflective, but we all benefit from reflecting on the important parts of life.