Some things are out of our control
There is a lot to life that is out of our control. Our aging, for instance, time makes sure that we keep on moving on. One second, day, week, month, year and decade at a time; the ride does not stop until we do. It is like an apple that drops from the tree; once it starts it won’t stop until it lands. We all have to deal with this until we have our landing day. I guess being a pilgrim could be visualized as our being born (falling from the tree) and going until we hit the ground.
The metaphor brings to light the swiftness of our years. When this is understood on a deep level, it is then that many start looking for answers. It can happen at any age. Some are called early and other later, but in the end, the landing has to be faced.
I wonder if we as a culture truly understood this reality and did not use it as a form of entertainment in movies and music and art, making it even into comedies, would that change us in any deep way? When the horror of death is displayed on the screen or in a book or painting or in music, it is something we observe and react too, but it is never really about our own death, but a projection of our fear onto something else. We even enjoy our ritual meal, popcorn, and a coke, while watching the horrors often made into something we can laugh at, or scream in terror, in a safe air-conditioned place.
Faith can take away from the sting of death. If there is no faith, then death is simply a ceasing to exist, that simple. However, thinking about one’s own non-existence is not the same thing as the horror of contemplating the death and non-existence of a loved on. The human heart is made for more than this world can give. Our loving relationships that really can point to that deeper love we thirst for, that all other loves point toward. We want those we love to exist forever because love is forever.
If our lives have meaning, and we are called to a deep loving relationship with the eternal, why do so many find it boring or unappealing? Perhaps it is because the science of the soul and the many faith paths many profess, or just something done on certain days of the week, or for births, weddings, and death. Yet people will give their lives for their jobs, or for power or for the next fix. Everything is sacrificed for these things. Family and friends can be let go of for the rewards of the above. Yet in the end, all else is lost. When the soul is taken seriously when one's faith path or spiritual leanings are deepened and developed then all things can fall into place and the fragments of our lives can come together. Yes, I find it interesting that so many find it boring or absurd. For one day, we will each land, our fall from the tree finished.
Called by name
Oh, Savior beloved one,
love and compassion fill your heart
for your children in a world so often sorrowful,
we gather our losses one at a time
our hearts can become heavy,
yet Lord you call us to faith and joy
even in the midst of suffering and loss,
give us the desire to go deeper and seek your face,
for each of your children you call by name.—Br.MD