Friday, October 05, 2007
Moving Past the Sadness
The title of this picture was "This is what sad looks like." I knew my cat-loving family would enjoy it. But speaking of sadness, I was reminded a couple times this week about how short and uncertain life is. First, I watched all seven episodes of The War on PBS and it was incredible. One of the best documentaries on WW2 ever done. It was about the people who lived it, at home and on the battlefield. It looked at the war from the perspective of four cities/towns in America from Alabama to Minnesota and Connecticut to California. It was about how everyone had a part to play and everyone made sacrifices. And of course, I was especially touched to see so many young men who went excitedly off to war, only to die on a beach or field, never to enjoy the happier things in life - like family, spouse, children, future. It was profound to see elderly men telling their experiences and still getting choked up and teary as they remembered the ones who didn't come back - and maybe still felt the guilt of being alive. Well over four hundred thousand American soldiers died in that war. Most in their late teens and early twenties. Men who thought they would live to a ripe old age and then die in their sleep one night. And then Tuesday morning we received word that Mark Moran, who was the minister at Florissant before I came, lost his son-in-law in an automobile accident. Mark's daughter has two small children, and everyone was talking about how they were finally getting things together.
These just reminded me what a difficult task it is to live in the now. I've committed myself to enjoying each day and not letting it "just happen" - but I've failed at it more than I've succeeded. It's so hard not to live anticipating the next "exciting happening" or to not wallow in the past like it was some standard of excellence that will never return. We can't spend our lives looking backwards or forwards, nor can we spend it just "trying not to die." We have to spend our lives enjoying the life we have this minute. Treasure it - be thankful for it - share it with those God gave us. The minute we spend complaining and griping, and the hours we spend worrying or feeling sorry for ourselves - are minutes and hours that won't come back and only bring us closer to wasting our life instead of truly living it. The joy of loving and being loved is all we've got time to do - and all God expected from us.