The last week has gotten me thinking that I need to write about, well, where my life’s at and seems to be going. To clarify, I seem to have been thrust into a season of death and dying this past week. My mother went with my grandparents to visit her uncle who has stage 4 cancer last weekend. While they were there, they found out that one of her aunts had a heart attack. Two very different stories, however. The uncle, a story of gloom and hoping the Lord will save his soul. On the other hand, the aunt, a person ready to return home and because of her exuberance, one of her sons had accepted the Lord into his life after a decades long absence from church. I found all this out the day after I had learned that a friend here at school had been killed in an accident with a truck while on his bike. He was not my best friend in the world, but I could say that I knew him and he was a friend. I lack the words to truly express my thoughts and emotions, but I feel the need to try. He was biking back from feeding the homeless downtown and it makes me wonder. What is my impact on the world around me? Am I living out the faith I claim to have? Is not faith without works dead? I am not trying to advocate a system of self-sanctification, but I ask this practically. Can one really consider himself faithful if that faith does not manifest itself in obedience to Christ?
What about my urgency? It seems that I have none. I feel invincible and that my time will never run out, but life on this earth is fleeting. Nothing is guaranteed; nothing meant to last. I take the blessing of each day for granted, shamefully. Every breath, every thought, every word and every opportunity is to be taken advantage of and not let go to waste.
Wednseday, I decided to go for a run as it was drizzling and I was excitedly anticipating the forthcoming rain. I love running in a warm rain. This particular route runs through a quiet neighborhood and at the apex, I simply turn around to finish out the distance. I had gotten about a quarter of the way through the run (halfway out) when I realized the rainstorm that had progressed from the drizzle was actually a serious storm cell. Uncertain of what to do, I decided I was over halfway out, so I might as well go all the way. This proved to be a terrible/phenomenal idea. Every crash of thunder got subsequently louder and I got more and more concerned seeing as I was running beneath trees and power lines…FAIL. I can honestly say that I have prayed that seriously maybe a handful of times in my life. It’s a shame it took me concern for my very life to pray earnestly, but I’m glad for it. Roughly three-quarters of the way through the run, the sky began to clear and the thunder and lightning ceased.
I wish I could say that my prayer life is great, but that run clearly showed me that it’s nowhere near where it should be. Prayer is to be a continuing conversation throughout the day and not just when we fear the worst for ourselves. Urgency, once again, came to mind. What purpose am I living for? If I were to have died then, would I have been able to say that I had been a faithful and obedient servant? Can I consider myself a servant at all? Am I spending my time on things worthwhile? Or am I simply wasting my life on lesser things?
I don’t answer these questions, because unfortunately I think I know the answer to all of them and that’s not the point here. Of course this begs the question of what really is the point? Maybe, it’s simply to address the questions whose answers may look different for each individual. Maybe, it’s simply to express the random thoughts and questions floating around in my raging sea of a brain.
I went to a conference this weekend back at home and I had many thoughts running rampant through my already busy head. It was so incredibly weird staying in a hotel less than 10 minutes from my Dad’s house. We went to the mall for dinner Saturday where I go shopping when I’m back at home. There were a few people from school there, which was nice to provide some sort of balance in the Picasso-like weekend that it was. It was like being in the twilight zone where my past life melded with my current life and I was stuck trying to reconcile the two. Needless to say, I did not sleep much. It was certainly fun getting to meet some new and cool people and the informational sessions were not too bad. However, it was a significant struggle being thrown off so much. The stress of the week just melded in with the duplicity of the weekend, which melded in with the anxiety presented by graduation. In light of this, I walked around the area alone for about 2 hours Friday night. I don’t know specifically what it accomplished, but I felt it was needed. Saturday was a little more normal, but I still felt conflicted. Today, a friend drove back with me to school and we got lunch with my mother on the way back. It was pretty cool having her meet my mother and just the interaction we all had. The ride back was also rather enjoyable as the weather was beautiful, so we rode with the top down, music up and had some pretty good conversation.
The car ride I think helped me to understand that maybe, just maybe, the need we have to know others and be known by others is far more important than I’d like to admit. I am not the most candid and honest person and we’re not the best of friends, but I felt that I couldn’t hide anything from her. Fulfilling this need was more important to me than the desire to self-preserve and hide in the conversation. Nope, I don’t really know where I’m going with this other than to say that honesty, even with people not terribly well known is freeing. Openness and honesty is so much more freeing and simple. I wish I would have more conversations of this sort…