• LOOKING FOR LIFE IN DEATH

“So go out and live real good and I promise you’ll get beat up real bad. But, in a little while after you’re dead, you’ll be rotted away anyway. It’s not gonna matter if you have a few scars. It will matter if you didn’t live.” RICH MULLINS

My life has always been balanced with death.

I lost my 37-year-old father at the age of 8 to a car accident. My best friend killed himself at the age of 22. The same year, my first cousin died in a car accident. He was 27. All of my grandparents were dead by the time I turned 25.

Last night I dreamed that my 4-year-old son slipped off of a cliff and fell to his death. I spent the rest of the dream trying to find him, but everywhere I turned, I found a dead end.

The one thing we all have in common is death. We are all going to die. Maybe at the ripe old age of 80. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe right now.

For the past few weeks, months, years… I’ve been struggling with my existence. I grew up with a strong belief in God… that everything in life will work out if you trust him. Well, I still have a strong belief in God… but that bit about trust and everything working out has flown out the window. Because nothing in life is certain. Nothing is a guarantee, except for death. I don’t say that to sound bleak, it’s just a truth…. death and taxes.

I watched the movie Cloverfield last night and I feel like this was a heavy theme of the film. Throughout the film, it “flashes-back” (in a quite ingenious way) to scenes of a guy and one of his best friends, a girl, who he’s been pining after for years, as they spend a “perfect” day together. This perfect day is just waking up, hanging out, riding the train, going to the fair… simple, happy… a perfect day. This is all balanced with the massive amounts of death in the movie. It’s really quite beautiful.

I believe that the real joy in life is found in the moments of simplicity:

The feeling of finishing a great book…
…eating a great meal…
…watching a movie while holding a loved one in your arms…
…the magic of chocolate meeting peanut butter…
…choosing the right lane which zips you past a traffic jam…
…catching up with old friends…
…the wind blowing through your hair as you ride your bike down a hill…
…the pride that comes in creating a beautiful piece of art…
…being greeted with a hug…
…a child’s laughter…
…singing in the shower…
…the touch of the opposite sex sending shivers up your spine…
…being able to become a child again, and just playing…
…learning something new…
…finding a common interest with a stranger…
…a great concert, so enjoyable you can’t keep from smiling…
…the feeling of cool sand beneath your toes…
…cold air conditioner on a hot summer day…
…a warm car on a cold winter one…
…the smell of a loved one…
…the beauty of a sunset…
…exploring a new city…
…windows down, music blasting…
…fill in your perfect moment in the comments below.

I am on a journey to rediscover that trust in God. I don’t know if it’s a discovery as much as it is a decision. Maybe I’ll find it, maybe I won’t. But I do know that life is short. We will all die soon (in the grand scheme of things.) So, there is no point in sitting around and complaining. And I feel like that’s what I’ve been doing for a good long while now. So, I am making the decision to get up, get out, be who only I can be, and live life to it’s fullest. To touch, taste, feel, smell, and experience life. To spend every moment creating, living, loving, laughing… relaxing. Too much time is wasting.

I’ll end with one of my very favorite stories:

A monk is running through the jungle. A tiger is right on his tail. He gets to the edge of a cliff and he looks over. It runs down into a deep abyss. He grabs onto a vine and begins to shimmy his way down. The tiger catches up, but the monk is now out of reach. The monk reaches the edge of the vine… nowhere to go. If he goes up, he’ll be devoured by the tiger. If he goes down, he’ll fall to his death into the deep abyss.

In this moment of despair, he looks right in front of his face. He sees a small vine of strawberries. He reaches out, grabs a strawberry and takes a bite. The juices flow from his mouth as he says “this is the best strawberry I’ve ever had in my life.”

Advertisements
3 comments
  1. A said:

    Interesting, I watch Cloverfield last weekend.

    After my aunt died when I was in college, I lost that belief in God. It took awhile for it to come back. For some it does, and for others it doesn’t.

    This entry was very well written and hit home for me.

  2. kwoktalk said:

    Nice post. I’ve been fortunate so far to not have much personal ties to death so far. Have you ever read Phillip Yancey’s Reaching out for the Invisible God? I read it a few years back and I appreciated his honesty about the times struggling through life and feeling the absence of God.

    Pizza gives me joy.

  3. Thanks Angela. I really appreciate the comments.

    Kwok – How did I forget about Pizza! And I haven’t read Yancey’s book, although I’ve liked stuff I’ve read by him in the past. Maybe I’ll pick it up.

    Currently reading this really life-changing one called Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. It’s slowly transforming me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: