“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” 1 Timothy 6:17
Life is always moving forward, it’s inevitable. Yet I am constantly surprising myself with just how much momentum life truly gains – especially when you aren’t paying attention. Days, weeks, months, and years whisk by in the briefest of moments. When in the mood for reflection it is easy to find myself asking, “but where did it all go?” And really, where did all that time go? What do I have to substantiate the immeasurable stretch of decisions and actions that have brought me to that exact moment in time?
Before delving too far down the rabbit trail of that query there comes another question. It starts with an unbearable sense of unease that often whispers in through the cracks of my reverie. Similar to the unsettling wraith like rap of a branch against a window in a storm there comes the question, “…and what did it all mean?” I really hate that question. It is pretty much the most unwelcome guest in my moments of contemplation. It has this sour propensity to ruin even the most blissful of moments.
What makes this question so horrid is its tendency to be linked with what society dictates the worth of a moment to be. Or more precisely, what I think society deems the worth of a moment. And that’s terrible isn’t it? I know this, you know this – we all collectively know this. Yet it still happens. There is this tendency to diminish the absolute wonder that is the complexity of our individual journeys.
After what has felt like an incredibly long stretch of slogging along through things, I had one of those weekends that was…well simply beautiful. It was the kind of weekend that leaves you feeling full and overflowing with happiness. Does it sound like I’m setting the stage from an incredibly grand weekend? Yes, but probably not in the very “societal” sense of the term.
It’s even hard to start to explain the weekend because it isn’t going to mean the same thing to you as it did to me. We’ll give it a shot though. On Saturday a childhood dream of seeing the Broadway production of The Lion King came true. Going into the theater I was excited, and that was expected. What I didn’t expect was how profoundly I would be affected at the start of the show. Even now, having time to process the experience, I’m struggling to find the right words to say. So many layers of my life came colliding together as the sun rose up out of the stage. The joy experienced almost ached, and it definitely overwhelmed. Even if you don’t quite relate with this moment, it is understandable to not expect to have your happiness stretched higher for some time.
Then Sunday evening rolled around, and with it the beginning of a concert led by one of the young adults I have had the privilege of working with over the past couple of years. This beautiful young lady shared her voice and thoughts with the room, and it was perfection. As the evening progressed, the soft light of the setting sun filtering through the stain glass windows, I thought about the other teens from the same youth group that were there. One was on drums, expressively contributing to the harmonious medley on stage, and the other was assisting with all the technical aspects of the concert. Each of these teens took a considerably amount of time out of their schedule to dedicate to this evening, as did the young lady who led the concert; and they all fulfilled their roles magnificently. With the applause that followed each song that profound happiness came back to me with a thundering rush, stretching the joy of the previous day to new heights.
At the end of the weekend the best way I could describe how I felt was full. I felt so incredibly filled with joy and precious memories (plus a few tears on both occasions.) What makes it even more special is exactly why it is so terribly hard to explain why this weekend meant so much to me. My feelings and memories are mine and mine alone, and their significance can only be fully understood by me. They can’t be measured. They are a culmination of every thing that has brought me to this day.
So as another week is underway and some of the monotony starts to trickle back in, I am reminded of this magical weekend. The weekend of being full, not of accomplishments or necessarily anything that is particularly important but filled with life. Saturday saw the fruition of one of my dreams and the reminder of why I have pursued the career that I am in, and Sunday found me immensely proud and honored to have shared in the lives of such beautiful, wonderful young adults. The tenderness and sentimentality of Saturday opened me up to a deeper appreciation of the openness and vulnerability of the young adults who contributed to Sunday’s concert.
Each of us has these “filled” moments that are uniquely are own. Their meaning is profound to us and us alone – and that is an incredibly beautiful thing.