Friday, May 10, 2013

Storms make me pensive

We had a series of storms last night, and I was up long past my sickly husband, listening to the rain (and hail....yipes). I don't know what it is about storms, but they turn me into a strange conglomeration of pensive, sleepy, and slightly nervous. Last night, though, I think I was about 90% pensive.

I just sat in the dark for the longest time with the blinds open, and watched flashes of light from the lightning bounce off the walls in our apartment--here one second, then gone. All I could think about was this passage from James:

"You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." 
                                                                                                 (James 4:14)

Coincidentally, yesterday morning I was thinking about all the things my great-grandparents had seen, like the Dust Bowl, the roaring twenties, and the first television set--but also the things they didn't get to see, like the first African American president, hydrogen cars, or computers small enough to carry in your pocket. Then I wondered about the amazing things I would never see. Maybe that's a little depressing, but I found it strangely comforting. The world has existed before me, and will continue to exist after I'm gone. I'm a small part of a larger story; it's not all about me (as much as I would like to believe it is on my lesser days). It takes a lot of the pressure off, if you want to know the truth.

What I've realized lately, in finding a few grey hairs and seeing tiny wrinkles around my eyes that don't go away when I stop smiling, is that I'm already at least a third of the way through this thing. This life. Sometimes that thought makes me panic a little, and try to do everything I can; usually, though, it makes me want to slow down, refocus on what matters: things like love, truth, beauty, meaning, family, friendships, and faith. Half the things I'm chasing after are just smoke and dust, anyway--I'll hold them for a moment, if at all. I want to become fluent in what matters.

The world is what the world is--there's some really good, some really bad, and a lot of in-between. In the course of two years, I met & married my husband, got my master's degree, and got a new job...and I also lost my father, both grandfathers, and watched my grandmother slip further into dementia. I don't remember much of the in-between. It was a vapor.

I firmly believe that if we want beauty and significance in life, we have to be the ones to bring it in--to change the in-between and the bad into meaningful. Maybe they'll never be "good", but they can be infused with purpose.  We have to dig for it, fight for it, and then give it away like it was never ours to begin with--especially to those who don't have the strength left to find it themselves.

Sometimes the world is dark, scary, and stormy. It has been before and will be again. But we--all of us--are like lightning: here for just a flash to light up the darkness.

1 comment :

  1. I love watching storms behind my window :D

    Since I love your posts so much I nominated you for the LIEBSTER award! Check out the rules and your questions here:


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