Humanity; the threshold of divinity or the cesspool of depravity? Who are we? Can I grasp the ideals that form my identity and stake them with immutability? Can I muster from within; the means to impute meaning and purpose? Am I destined to fall fate to the seasickness of this ebb and flow? Honestly? Honestly I just want to be happy. Children understand that. When did we lose happiness? When did things get messy? Why is it that time feels hollow? Like sucking air through an empty straw, the more I try to make the most of it, the faster it moves. Abundance becomes a faded memory; a wedding banquet now a stale loaf of bread. As my teeth sink into its dry coarse frame, the bread crumbles to dust, leaving me thirsty leaving me empty. The hunger, the pure huger consumes me, driving me with fear and anxiety. Driving me to wander, searching for that Eden I once had. All the philosophy, religion, and ideology that once resided to sustained and formulate the world around me have left for a dinner party. They pontificate and assume in a room far removed from this world I am engaging. Unable to breath, unable to speak, they are left and forgotten. This tower of ivory is cold and lonely. I look out its balcony and ponder the earth I have forsaken. Unable to touch God, unable to illuminate the cracks in this foundation, I make my way back. There, I (the created) participate with creation. I no longer ignore nature and all its wonder. Intuitively I connect with the God that created me, like a child recognizing his father’s voice I incline to His will and direction.
Is my life really a story? Does it have a conflict, climax and resolution? I’m I the protagonist that someone somewhere is rooting for? I doubt it. You see I think we all have accepted the notion that our life is no different from our favorite movie. There are these expectations that we will struggle, love, hate and it will all accumulate into this marvelous adventure. We all believe that we will meet that one person, start a family, do things, see things, achieve things and it will all make sense. It will fit together like a puzzle, a predetermined picture that is slowly unfolding. I am slowly realizing that this is not the case. Now believe me I’m not turning into that twenty something cynic that believes that everything means nothing and nothing means everything. Have you ever loved a book so much that you were afraid to finish it? Each turn of the page was met with anticipation and excitement, yet it was also met with a sharp pain of guilt. You felt guilty for killing the story because with each turn of the page you were also enabling its inevitable end. Once that book is closed your favorite hero no longer exists. You place the book back on the shelf like a tombstone of a loved one. It will sit there, collect dust and occasionally you will revisit it. You will pick it up, dust it off and take a moment to admire and reflect on it. It’s a quaint metaphor isn’t it? Yet it doesn’t leave me satisfied. I can’t accept that this majestic, awe-inspiring, mysterious thing we call life can be simplified with a few sheets of paper and ink. I don’t think that this “meaning” we are all looking for can be found in what our “story” will be. The fact is, right now I’m not running from a caravan of thieves in Persia. I’m not escaping imminent death with a beautiful girl who has long black hair and deep mysterious green eyes. Right now I’m sitting in a cubical of a call center staring at a giant flat screen TV. I’m watching it run a continuous clip of promotional footage for a university that I have been a part of for over 5 years. Yet there is air in my lungs. There are beautiful wavelengths of energy entering my cornea and revealing a world of infinite wonder and amazement; a universe existing entirely on its own, unencumbered by my fears, struggles, and achievements. The tree outside the building has no invested interest in whether I quit my job to join a biker gang or chase a dream and a girl in the Amazon rainforest. Instead of using cheap metaphors and stories to define this thing we call life, let life speak for herself. Let’s stand in awe of her beauty, gazing at the freckles of her night sky. Let’s enjoy the gift of air that we have in our lungs. Use it to give thanks to the one who orchestrated it. Instead of worrying about what your story will be or has been – just breath! Let your lips taste the oxygen as it floods your brain with hope, a hope of the present, a single moment of absolute freedom, a moment not dependent on the chapter before or the chapter to come.
And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be merry, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 8: 15
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.