Thursday, March 27, 2008

O Death - Where is your victory?

Few things grieve my heart more than hearing about a death. Not long ago close friends of mine lost a dear friend from high school. Members of a church family lost a husband and father. Another friend's hairdresser lost both her Grandmother and coworker within a week. My downstairs neighbors lost their five month old baby just two days ago.
The baby's death hit me the hardest. I went to visit him in the hospital last week - he was born premature and hadn't made it from the incubator yet. "He is a fighter" his parents told me while smiling at him. He was indeed. That baby was on oxygen, an IV bag that gave him nutrients, another bag that kept him from moving so that he would not lose energy, and another bag that contained morphine to keep him from feeling pain. He had just lost a finger overcoming a battle with a staph infection. Yet, he was still alive - still fighting. I was honestly shocked when my neighbor called me with the news of his death.
Death is hard - even with its commonality and link to life. None of us are promised another day, another hour, or another minute. And I pray that God will give us long life in order to accomplish all that we are called to do on this earth. So I am not trying to make this a sad moment, but a real one, a moment to assess. I am asking you though - take a moment and assess. What are things you would regret not doing in your life? Why haven't you done them? If the time to do these things are later in life, have you started preparing to make them happen? Are these things seemingly unreachable? What will make them reachable?
I am going through a phase right now where I am being forced to answer some of these questions. To be honest - the answers are more in reach that I thought...though they will take a leap of faith :), but they are all in reach. Quite possibly you will find that your answers are in reach - a closer reach than you previously thought as well.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My quarter life calm

I remember wondering as a child what life would be like when I finally became an "adult." I envisioned myself "doing lunch" with important people, making important business plans, and just being important. That what adults do - I thought. Looking back on these naive imaginations, don't think I would have thought about being an adult much if I really knew what life would be.
At 25 and about 3 weeks now, I am pretty sure I qualify as an adult - after all I can check off a new age range in demographic survey boxes. I can also now rent a car. To be honest though, a part of me feels like I have not grown up by my own choosing. This adult self has times when it longs to hear the bell for recess, or even looks around for crayons and a coloring book. As I look at these present imaginations, I realize that part of me wants to experience life as a kid again.
Is that the crisis of the quarter-life? Is it feeling like you've been forced to be a grown-up by making grown-up decisions, like going to work and paying bills? Or is it realizing you are an adult, but aren't as important as you imagined? Or could it be understanding that life is not as simple as you remembered it?
Today though, more than any other day that I can remember, I came to a juncture in which I knew I needed to make some decisions in my heart. Though some of the feelings I am experiencing may be characterized as somewhat of a "crisis," one of these many heart decisions is that I will NOT allow this time in my life a crisis. It is going to be my calm. The future me will look back at this time and say - "I am where I am today because of those great moments in my quarter-life calm."