There are many distractions in the world. This would be a good day for you to focus. Focus on your needs, as well as, the needs of others. Keep the needs of yourself and the needs of the self in balance. You will notice that you and others have this need to keep life in balance. There is a delicate balance in nature to give and receive. Take an apple tree. An apple tree begins to grow. It will then mature. If you pick the apples too soon, they will taste sour. If you pick the apples to late another taste of sour springs forth as a rotten taste. In the middle of these two extremes is the sweetness of an apple's maturity. The apple time has come to give back before it dies. And oh, how good the ripe tasting texture of an apple whose time has come to give in due season.

You have been in training since the moment you were born. You have been learning and growing from various experiences that teach you and develop you into becoming a mature adult. Along the way, your elders have been sharing with you their wisdom and their love and care. When you mature into adulthood, it is time for you to share with those around you gifts you have learned since being a child. Just like the apple, you are ripe and ready to share with the public those seeds of awareness given to you since birth. You are ready for the community and the world to literally use or taste the talents you have to give.

Dying people have physical bodies that no longer serve them or the community in a way that they did in their prime. Like the apple, everything dies in due season. At the same time, a dying person's worth to society is probably more valuable to those who care for them. Dying people are becoming more soul than body. They are transforming right before our eyes. Their attention turns inward and the virtues and values they have lived through in their lifetime become more vivid than any other phase of their life. They teach us what is important and share their stories with us from their heart and soul.

Stories create images in our mind and elicit emotions from the feelings expressed by the storyteller. It can be as though you were there as you feel and see inwardly what a dying person shares with you. Memories expressed in tranquility come from the soul. They fill all of us with a knowing that who we are now is a result of our past expressions on material reality. Dying people teach us to live in soul long before we die and plant seeds of eternity inside. When it is our time to close our eyes to the world around us and open them up to a place where eternity itself dwells. We will have arrived where we started in life and call it home.

Sam Oliver @

Author's Bio: 

Sam has cared for the needs of the dying in palliative care for over 17 years. During that time, he has served as the Chair, and now, Co-Chair of the Hospice Ethics Committee at a Hospice Care Center in Northern Ohio. He has served several years as a State Continuing Education Chairperson for the Association of Professional Chaplains.

For well over a decade, Sam has been an active editorial review board member and contributing writer for Healing Ministry Journal, The Journal of Terminal Oncology, and The American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care.

He began his speaking about spiritual care over 15 years ago and continues to speak at public engagements on the local, national, and international levels. He has spoken at several college campuses and keynoted at several Hospice Conferences.

His first book of four, What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living, is a Doubleday Book Club, One Spirit, and National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization selection. Sam's undergraduate study was at Georgetown College with a B.A. in Psychology. He received his Master of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky with an emphasis in the Pastor/Teacher track. In 2003, Sam Oliver finished his post-graduate certificate in Healthcare Ethics through Rush University in Chicago, IL.

Presently, Rev. Sam Oliver is the Chaplain and Bereavement Counselor at a local Hospice Care Center, and he continues to write and speak on spiritual care issues related to death and dying, motivational, and inspirational topics of interest.