There’s this fine line between saying “life is short, live fast and hard” and “life is precious so make it count and don’t screw up.” There are all these conclusions we come to on the spectrum of how to live. We’d all agree that life is over in what feels like a blink or two. Some get a longer blink than others, but it still flies by. Every time someone we know passes on, we reflect on life and think, and say, things like “Never take your time for granted” or “Make sure you tell those you love how much they mean before it’s too late” and other such sentiments.
On a scale from 1 to 10 we factor in the idea of regret and the idea of not regretting. If you decide on 1 being the least risky and 10 the most risky, your personality may something like, well life is too short to regret so I’m just going to bust through doing everything that occurs to me and throw caution to the wind and not regret anything. It’s like a circle really. If I just make the decision to not regret ahead of time, I just won’t. Right?
On the other hand there are those who say you only get one life and therefore you should be careful and make the best possible rational decisions. Don’t be a fool. Don’t make mistakes. Don’t get (1) into debt, (2) in trouble, (3) pregnant, (4) arrested, or (5) all of the above in one night. And so you don’t do any of those things that may look like mistakes and you get to the end and you look back pleased that you kept your hands clean. And that’s cool too and people like me semi-secretly envy people like you.
But then we also know that your slate is dirty in other ways which may or may not include being super judgmental of all of us fools who took risks, sometimes gigantic planet-sized risks, and that you most likely hurt people in a whole different way than we did and you probably don’t even realize it, or refuse to acknowledge it. And like the older brother in the story of the lost son (or more commonly known as the prodigal son) you turn your back on anyone who needs your empathy and that makes you a fool too. Not that I’m judging any one…
Somewhere in all this is a balance that I have yet to achieve or even really name. I find myself wanting to just throw caution to the wind and doing what I FEEL like doing, but I also am way to life-drenched to know that this isn’t a great idea at all times. There are people to consider, emotions highly strung, and there are bills to pay. Not to mention actual debts.
I have this general sense that when it comes time to go, I will face it well. There are times I cry out, Come quickER, Lord Jesus, and I actually truly deeply think it would be rad if He did. Then there are days I’m sitting in mud and there’s a light rain and I’m sorry I put any makeup on and I wish everyone I know could feel just that content and at peace in that moment and I wish every day like this from now on. And maybe that is heaven. That deeply rooted love and passion for real earthly pleasure, unaffected by all other things and not a care in the world.
But eventually you get back in the car and you go back to real life and the boxes that are waiting to be packed and the decisions that are waiting to be made and the people that are waiting for you to stop ticking them off and the life-drenching starts all over again. But somewhere in there, Grace sneaks in too. And it plays defensive tackle for you and covers your blind side and you roll your eyes at Sandra Bullock’s accent but it’s all good because she’s so darn cute and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt you are where you are meant to be right now. And you get the first down, and that’s enough for that play.
Come quicker, Lord Jesus.