Targeting Life

Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
(Norman Cousins)

At seven I walked through a graveyard and came upon a small, decaying gravestone which read: ORPHAN; 1901-1908. No one had cared enough even to know the child’s name. Opposite that gravestone was a new grave, upon which lay myriads of fresh flowers, diverse in colour and variety. I walked towards it with annoyance and with one mighty swipe, pulled out a single red rose. Now the rose rested proudly, yet apologetically, on the unhappy mouldy gravestone. I hoped the child understood my untimely consolation, “you are loved.” LOVE was important. The gravestone indicated a lack of it.

As a child, have you played the game of trying not to step on a “crack” when walking down a sidewalk? If you step on a crack, you are out. Life sometimes feels that rough; like a journey of always trying to avoid the cracks. Perspective can be lost while aiming for happiness; we do not realize that life is really all about the cracks.

“Love” is what life is based on. There are lots of cracks; lots of the unexplainable and seemingly unfair portions that fall into our laps. We end up thinking or even saying, “why me?” or “why them?” Why does love get tampered with? We want to blame someone for the world going out of control. There is only one on whom to cast fault —God, our refuge when we have no answers in life. Aims and dreams never come to pass and our arrow falls short of the target; blame someone —God.

It is frustrating that God’s existence can’t be proven; all we have are unanswered questions. How was the world made? What is love? Why do bad things happen? How could a Big Bang have created life? Wouldn’t it be just as easy to take a wristwatch apart, drop the pieces in a bag, shake, and pull the watch out, whole and functioning again? It doesn’t really sound feasible that we’ll ever have the answers…

An old and feeble woman, whose time to go was coming soon, was respectfully asked, “Where do you want to be buried?” Her reply was thoughtful, but she answered with no hesitation —an inward smile illuminating her face:

It doesn’t really matter; I’m not going to stay there anyway.”

For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,
so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
(II Cor. 5:4 NIV)

Nevertheless, we mortals ponder… what is life?

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