Life Worth Living
Being a new grandparent makes me think a lot about time. The time in my life I have spent. All my experiences and endeavors. The moments of brightest light and deepest dark. The time that’s still ahead. The possibility and promise. The time that is right now. Even as I type out these letters that shape words and flow into phrases and thoughts. Here .Now. THIS moment.
In his book The Way to Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony de Mello the author shares a parable about a group of tourists who sit in a bus that is passing through gorgeously beautiful country; lakes and mountains, green fields and rivers. But the shades of the bus are pulled down the whole way! They do not have the slightest idea of what lies beyond the windows of their bus. And all the time of their journey is spent in squabbling over who will have the seat of honor, the most comfortable seats and who will be applauded and well considered. And so they remain that way until the journey’s end. It’s a sad but eye-opening thought to consider!
Later this year I will turn 50. A big milestone I am told. As that mile marker approaches ahead down the road I have a choice. I can view it as the best years of life have gone by me. Now I am just coasting along with nothing more to really see. But since I don’t know how many years I actually have left that would be kind of presumptuous of me to say. My dad was fond of quoting another in saying, “The best is yet to be”. I loved his optimism and there is some truth in it, too. It is hope-filled. And yet in a another kind of way, though, still presumptuous. Who can really know what’s ahead for sure? Honestly, it is right now that I have. That we have. Today. These moments right here. All of us on the bus. With gifts of beauty, inspiration and flourishing all around us just outside of our windows. Our hearts waiting to be lifted. But are the shades of our view pulled down? Are we blinded to this generosity of God’s goodness all around? Are we aware of this beauty so close or are we simply settling for arguing over mere personal success, wealth, ego and pleasure?
God’s gifts come to us wrapped up in many ways: family, nature, children, rest, walking, flowers, seasons, nachos, reading, music, the smell of vanilla, laughter, butterflies, tears, faith, doubts, dance, sports, breathing, goodbyes, touch, typing, And so, so much more.
Today is a gift of a life worth living. You might think (wrongly I would add) that I am writing this article from a place of extreme happiness sitting upon a worry free perch with bundles of money. But not so! I currently have a parent in hospital trying to recover from injuries. I am trying to figure out how to make ends meet with my own family. I am struggling in some ways. Maybe just like you? I am NOT writing this as someone who has this whole thing figured out, either. I am not writing this because everyone in the world likes me. I am simply writing as a fellow sojourner on the bus attempting to have the shades up to visually breath in the beauty, generosity and grace that’s around me. And let myself be transformed by this goodness here, now, and in this moment.
Questions? Comments? Contact: Chris Archer, Director of Family Ministries