Advancing on Chaos and the Dark

Yesterday I discovered that 5 of my high school classmates passed away. We have our 20 year high school reunion coming up, and those who are trying to get all 650 of us back together created a page to remember Kim, Travis, Lecretia, Ben, and Angela. I still don’t know what happened to them. I’ve heard one died from cancer and two died in car accidents. In theory, with a class that big you would think a few people may not live to make it to the 20 year reunion, but in reality it doesn’t make any sense.

Life flies by too quickly. Tragically for some, life goes by faster than for others. 

When I was in the Baylor marching band, there were three of us unable to march at the beginning of the season due to knee injuries. We had fun together on the sidelines getting a P.E. credit without having to exert any energy. Tragically, within a couple of years, the other two had passed away. Andy died from HIV/AIDS which he contracted in a blood transfusion as a hemophiliac several years earlier. Judy died in a car wreck on her way home to visit her family for Thanksgiving. I would have never imagined during my freshmen year that I would be the only one of the three of us to make it to graduation.

Life can be way too short.

During our series at Mosaic called “Reality Check,” Erwin has been taking us through the book of Ecclesiastes. These words from Ecclesiastes 12 bring some solace:

Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”-
before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when men rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;
when men are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags himself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then man goes to his eternal home
and mourners go about the streets.
Remember him-before the silver cord is severed,
or the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
or the wheel broken at the well,
and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

Sometimes when I find myself moving slowly or sideways in life, I remind myself that every day truly is a gift. I feel I received an extra chance as the lone survivor from the bench of the Baylor Marching Band. If for no other reason, I need to make this day count.

Whether we live to be 78 or 38 or 18, we need to make sure the life we live has been worth living.

“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so, and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age, betraying their perception that the absolutely trustworthy was seated at their heart, working through their hands, predominating in all their being. And we are now men, and must accept in the highest mind the same transcendent destiny; and not minors and invalids in a protected corner, not cowards fleeing before a revolution, but guides, redeemers, and benefactors, obeying the Almighty effort, and advancing on Chaos and the Dark.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Steve

    I agree with you. It is too easy to get complacent and just kind of go through the motions. I think we miss a lot of life that way.

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