Do you ever have themes in your life? Days or weeks when the same topic seems to be brought up in a variety of settings? It is as if the cosmos is telling you- “This is important. Listen.”
It appears that I have had a theme this last week.
The above quote was tucked at the bottom of Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper article from this past Sunday. I really liked it as it captures the essence of life: “heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary”. It captures all that I have felt about life especially the extra- ordinariness of the ordinary.
This past week, my women’s Bible study looked at Psalm 90, a psalm of Moses. Moses reminds us of our limitations as humans, namely that we are like fleeting grass and that, in modern day parlance, we cannot “take it with us”. He reminds us of our sinful nature and therefore our shortened lives. Yet, the psalm also speaks to God’s infinite presence and His holiness and righteousness. It is in remembering our proper place that we can live lives that have joy, peace and authenticity. The psalmist reminds us to number our days and to make the best use of our time. It is in looking at death that we can come to grips with life.
Also, this past week was a national day of mourning. It was a time for the national collective to reflect on a president as well as a time to reflect on ourselves. After all, for what funeral doesn’t cause introspection? Many different news commentators spoke of how hearing about the life of President George H.W. Bush made them think about how they lived their own lives. It was a chance to reflect on the time each one of us has left on this earth.
And then closer to home, this past week our church had our annual service of hope and loss. It is a special service to reflect on our losses, whether the loss of a loved one, a dream, our health, etc. and to embrace the hope that comes with Immanuel. It is a collective time for remembering our loved ones- those present and past and it is a time to recount our lives and how we are numbering our days.
All this “death” has me thinking about life. At our service of hope and loss I witnessed first hand the breathtaking beauty of heartbreak and soul-healing. I saw those whom I know have gone through devastating losses to enter into a place of giving to others. Not that they have forgotten those losses, but because they have witnessed the hope of a future with the everlasting God, they are willing to enter into new horizons.
Life is messy. Nothing brings that home more than the fact that God came to earth through the messiness of being one of us- starting as a helpless, messy, needy baby. God was with us (Immanuel) through the experience of Jesus’ life here on earth. Jesus experienced all that we do except sin. When I acknowledge these facts- Jesus was here on earth. He experienced all that I have and will experience. He lived with purpose and with “numbered days”- I have hope for my future. I have hope that I can number my days and accomplish that which God has called me to do. God’s work of my hands means living an authentic life. One in which I honor Him by integrity, love of God/family/friends/neighbor, loyalty, honesty, being servant minded.
“Let Your work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us.”
What about you? Any life themes? What is the cosmos trying to tell you? Have you ever thought about death? How do you live your life? With an eye on your epitaph? What would people say about you at your funeral?
Is your life breathtakingly beautiful?