Friday, February 28, 2014
Right Where I am
I remember once reading an article about a man who said that even if you lived 100 years, you'd only get to see 100 Autumns. At the time, I remember being in awe of such a drastic statement. Can you imagine, thinking each season of your life that you only had a limited number left? It seemed to me like such a profound thing to even consider.
Now, it's probably been at least 10 years since I've read that article, but I still remember the sentiment that the man portrayed. And the more I think about it, the more I wonder...
Have I experienced all my Autumns?
It's kind of funny how much of life we take for granted. We spend a lot of time lamenting that one day, it will be gone from us, that it can be taken so easily. We wonder if we will have the lives we think we are supposed to have- the right job, the house, the kids, the vacation. We toil and trouble and work hard for things that we think we are supposed to want, and sometimes, we get so caught up in those ideas, that we miss what is going on around us.
Where I live, the summers and winters tend to be the dramatic seasons, while spring and fall just sort of breeze in and out with no second thought. Sometimes I've barely put away my winter coat at the end of March before it's May and the weather has gotten too warm for my sweaters. It's like I've jumped the whole month between work and obligations and worry and suddenly, even if I live until 100, I'm coming up short.
The more time passes, the more I realize how much I am content to enjoy the moment. I don't mean that I don't want to plan ahead or think about the future. But my generation is, as were those before us, obsessed with getting to where we need to be as quickly as possible without enjoying the ride. We'd rather time travel then take the train, enjoying what's passing by as we ride to our destinations. As a result, there are millions of amazing things we will never experience, and maybe never even know we missed.
It's sobering to think about, if you ask me. I have goals and ideas that I look toward with hope. But I wonder if they consume my life. I wonder if those things will still hold their appeal once I arrive. Surely if these things were meant to be formulated, they would have. God would have put them into a specified plan. We'd all be married at the same age, with a baby on the way, and live in our happy little homes with no thought for the outside world.
My point is that our time here on earth is limited, and I fear that I limit it more and more by rushing it. Some days it's all I can do to get through the work day so I can get to whatever excitement lays before me. But my attitude dose not speed up time any. It just leaves me with one less day to reflect on later in life.
My life needs more sunsets- more moments of stopping to stare in awe into the sky and just enjoy the moment, live for the second. I explained it a few weeks back to a group of friends this way: A sunset is not tangible. You can't touch it. You can't reach out and change the way it's happening. And it's not the same to hear about it from someone else or see it secondhand in a picture. You just have to be there.
I don't know if I'll make it to a hundred. I don't know if I'll accomplish all that I've set out for myself to dream of. But I have the chance, right here and now, to enjoy the journey. I don't want to miss another second of this life I've been given by jumping ahead. I am happy to be right here, right now- right where I am.