Thursday, June 5, 2014

thoughts on a life well lived

As an idealistic young adult (or, pre-adult), I wanted to change the world.  Where there was darkness, I longed to bring light.  Where there was hate, I yearned to bring love.  Where there was oppression, I dreamed of bringing justice.  Where there was captivity, I wanted to bring liberation.  Where there was despair, I longed to bring hope.

I wanted to take on the world with this bold, audacious, flagrant goodness...that would not or could not be shushed or quieted or silenced or covered or hidden or overcome.  I wanted to leave a big mark, to impact this globe in a positive way, to leave this world knowing it was a better place because I breathed this terrestrial air.

Now.... I wonder.  Where did all that energy and passion and drive go?  Now... I'm in my forties.  Now... I need naps.  Now... I am tired.  And, perhaps most importantly, now I know that darkness isn't just "out there."  It resides in my heart as well.  To eradicate the evil in this world, I would have to annihilate myself... and everyone else.  I now see that the line between good and evil passes through every single human heart.

Now my dreams are different.  I dream about getting through my days... of finding the energy to take a walk, to clean my house, to connect in some small way with my husband and teenage children.

I wonder... is life something to be "conquered" or something to be "experienced"?  Is it enough... to find a spot in this planet to lay my head, to ENJOY the feeling of the sun on my skin, to appreciate the gentle caress of the breeze or to thrill inside when it rushes by with a power that hints at the enormity and intensity of the God who sends it, to feel my spirit dance to the tune of birdsong that surrounds me, to alight with the butterfly on her whimsical path through the air,  to be amazed by the complexity of a flower, to watch the stars appear in the night sky as the sun dips lower and lower beyond our horizon, to gasp at the beauty of a rainbow, to laugh at the tickle of the rain on my upturned face, and to be wonderstruck at the glory that blazes across the heavens each morning and evening?  To stop, to see, to experience, to appreciate, to just it enough?

Is it enough let the light fill my soul and permeate my being? be a positive energy in my little sphere? be present for my family? be the soft place where they can fall and be attended to in this world that is so often harsh and cruel? just be there and be with and walk alongside? listen (really listen) to a friend? smile at a cashier? pray blessings? love the one in front of me?

If the sum of my life is this:  "You made this world, God, and while I lived, I saw Your beauty, I smiled because of You, I lived in AWE, I noticed, I appreciated, I enjoyed, I experienced creation, I thanked You, and I concurred with You: 'It is good.  It is very good.'"  IS THAT ENOUGH?

It won't amount to much on paper.  It won't build a winning resume.  It won't culminate in letters after my name or qualifying credentials.  I won't have "earned" a place at Your wedding feast by do, do, doing for You... no long list of accomplishments or achievements to lay at Your feet.

But... I was exhilarated by You, by the work of Your Hands!  I marveled at Your creativity!  I was wonderstruck by Your Beauty!  I was in awe of Your goodness and Your grace and Your lavish and unrelenting kindness which I saw ...woven throughout my days, ...woven across our planet. And I PRAISED YOU!  I praised You for the changing seasons. I praised You for the stunning diversity in this world.  I praised You for the uniqueness of each individual.  I praised You for Your infinite creative genius.  I praised You for Your sense of humor and the gift of laughter.  I praised You for the way You revealed Yourself and the way You remained a sacred mystery.  I praised You for Your imminence and Your transcendence.  I praised You for being the God who sees me and knows the number of hairs on my head and collects each tear I cry, AND I praised You for being sovereign and supreme, the God who holds the entire Universe in the palm of Your hand.

I have wept buckets full of tears at the love that sent Your Son into this world to sacrifice His life for mine, and I have praised You for Jesus!  I live in light of Your love that knows no limits or boundaries, this love beyond all words or comprehension, this love that satisfies my hunger, quenches my thirst, and fills my ache for MORE.  I lift my hands.  I bow my knees.  I sing my love to You.  I praise Your Name, and I never want to rise from this spot, and I ask You, Lord, "Is this all You want from me?  Is this "enough"?  Am I "enough" when I am simply lost in You?"

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