Saturday, February 5, 2011

Midnight Delivery Courtesy Of Amoeba Air

I was really sick one night and had thrown up so much that I was about to go to the hospital (this was in Bolivia of course). I was dehydrated and sick of being sick. At this point, I actually thought of the fact that people my age die. Where did that thought come from? I had never thought about dying before. Seven times in my life I have had guns pointed at me. I have been tied up, laid on the floor and had a shotgun pressed against my forehead. I have been threatened by mobs and robbed. Yet, in all of these things, even when staring death in the face, I was not scared of it. Yet, here I was with an amoeba and thinking of—actually scared of—dying. Once more, where did that thought, that fear…where did that idea come from?

It was hand delivered to me by my midlife crisis. I think it was sent to me by the death of my father. When my dad died, it meant that I was at the top of my living generations. All my grandparents and both my parents are gone. Whatever the psychobabble reason for it, I was thinking that I could die. Well, I lived, (so much for the cliffhanger) but after everything was cleaned up and I was healthy, I just kept thinking about this truth: I am going to die. Hopefully not this week, but in the scheme of life and eternity, my death is just around the corner. This life is a blip on the scope of eternity. I have already lived over 47 years; many of the people I graduated High School with have grandchildren. It is like I blinked and 30 years went by. I now understand what my dad meant when he said, “The older I get the faster life goes by.”

So, my midlife crisis is here. An unexpected friend has moved in with me. I call him a friend because in a way he is like the verse that says it is better to go to a funeral home than to a party (Eccl. 7.2) because going to the funeral home makes you stop and think.

Stop and think. It is funny that I am doing this after so long, when one of my life verses is this, quoted from “The Message” translation because I like the way it translates the meaning…. “God says, ‘Take a good, hard look at your life.’” (Haggai 1:5)

A good, hard look at your life. Stop and think. Consider your ways. Examine yourselves. I have been doing that, and in some ways it has been pretty and in others, well, it is ugly.

You see, as I look at my life with criteria greater than personal gain and comfort, it gets scary. I kept hearing questions like this: How much of your life is oriented around your comfort? How much of your life is focused on personal gain? How much of your life is about your life? What is your purpose and why are you here?

Life is either meaningless or it has a purpose. I think it boils down to this. If my life is a cosmic accident then there is no purpose to it and even looking for a purpose is a waste of the short life I have. However, if my life was intentional, if it was formed on purpose then it has a purpose. In this case, NOT looking for the purpose is a waste of the short life that I have.

I believe and am certain that my life was given to me by God and that there is a purpose to it. Therefore, if I am to truly be the person that I SHOULD or COULD be, then I must find that purpose and fulfill it. My fulfillment in life will happen as I accomplish that for which I was created. Having said that, I am confident that the purpose of my creation is not my personal comfort and/or power over others.

What do you think? “God says, ‘Take a good, hard look at your life.’” (Haggai 1:5). Look at your life as we journey together over these next few blog entries. Are you fulfilled? Are you satisfied? Are you being or becoming who you could be?