Last year the question that kept coming back to me was, “what is the point? What is the point to life and what is the point to creation/humanity when it’s all going to end anyway?” I would wake up thinking about these questions, go to bed thinking about them and all day in between.
Part of what was causing these questions were the experiences we were in and the fact that so many people I knew were going through so much loss.
My husband and I have been pursuing stability for our family and still haven’t settled on something long term.
A friend from high school died in terrible car crash in Nepal. His older brother was driving and his younger brother was a passenger in the back. They survived.
A couple months prior, another acquaintance lost his life in an accident driving home to his wife and seven year-old daughter.
A few months after that, a friend lost her brother to a very complicated case of pneumonia right around thanksgiving. They spent the holiday at the hospital hoping for their 26 year old son/brother to pull through the infections. He didn’t make it.
Around the same time, I read about a friend from college losing her husband in a sudden health issue. Reading about her loss was devastating for me. She has four children and was living in a country far from her family. Her story ran through my head over and over. It made me question everything so much more. How could life just end like that, so suddenly, leaving broken threads behind?
I began listening to Ecclesiastes around this time. It articulated what I was feeling. This tension of life and death, of joy and sorrow, of wealth and poverty, of health and sickness: is there even anything to hope for at the end of it all?
The verse that stuck with me was Ecclesiastes 3:12 - “I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live.”
In the midst of all this tension and not knowing whether everything is all in vain or for naught, I began to realize, “I can choose to create joy even in the smallest of ways.”
This has given me a new focus, where I can now see that I don’t need to focus on the future. I need to focus on the now and how my actions are a reflection of the past and can give direction for the future. More often than not, I’m learning to live with tension instead of always seeking to resolve it. Does it ever really get resolved? Maybe not. In the meantime, I choose to create joy, even in the smallest of ways.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time...
...Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
excerpted from Hearts on Fire
Meal: There are so many meals that bring me joy. Today I want to share with you a How to Charcuterie because this meal is a fun for all kinda meal.
Song: Hard To Be by David Bazan (album Curse Your Branches)
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Time: It should be fairly easy (at least here in the west) to buy some acrylic paints and canvas and a few brushes. Pick some colors that you like or go on pinterest and look for color palettes (It makes it easier to see which combination you might like). Then pour dots of paint directly on to the canvas in a random order. When you begin to brush strokes into the paint you’ll begin to see which direction you want to go with the paint.
The feel of the brush smoothing the paint onto the canvas is a very soothing feeling to me. It is in that moment that I feel a release of whatever tension I have been holding on to. And at the end of that time I have something of beauty that I can choose to share with others or keep for myself.