Jessie Woodrow- thanks to this organization
After listening to some thoughts from people last week, I realized that our whole perspective on life is really twisted. We, and I, live in fear of aging of dying and leaving this world, but it shouldn’t be this way. We should see our lives as the portal into eternity. What if I always viewed my life that way? I might not get so upset at people or worry so much about trying to make my mark or prove myself to this slowly vanishing existence. I struggle with looking forward to death. How many of us do- in a positive way I mean? Realizing that ultimately if we’ve only been spent by and for ourselves, we’ve really not left much of a legacy here.
It’s like a funnel, this life. It’s only siphoning us into a much larger world of eternal existence. I can’t imagine what that’s like and frankly, it freaks me out sometimes and I have to stop thinking about it. I think the unknown scares me. I think sometimes I fear I’ll be bored forever. But I heard an uplifting sermon recently that talked about how heaven will be eternal bliss. That feeling of newness and excitement continually overpouring like a fountain. Trusting God is something I have to work at. I need to remind myself that he made me and knows me and wants good for me and knows exactly how to fulfill me. I have to remember that the reasons I groan and ache here are because I am not at home with Him. At times, I get too comfortable here- thus the problem with our poshy lifestyles. It’s probably helpful to get out of that comfort zone more than we reside in it.
In conjunction with the end of your life is the perspective of the rest of your life. It is interesting to realize what defines you when you start to strip earthly things away. If you weren’t able to paint your body like a canvas with tattoos or the latest trend in the fashion industry or do your hair in a specific way or stand behind an instrument every night or shell out your fancy business cards, what would you look like? Would your character speak volumes about who you are? I am blessed to have several people who have reminded me of this recently. These “about us” things really are just tangents to who we truly are. Sometimes it’s easy to let our material goods and talents define us. We’ve been taught to express ourselves since we were little. And though I don’t deny that being unique and an individual is something God appreciates, maybe we tend to value people more or less for what they can DO and not who they ARE. Inhabit who you are and the gifts you’ve been given, but also be willing to set them aside of you at times and say- that’s not who I am at the core- those are things that I do. I think this is becoming more real to me as I have been shifting in my passionate pursuits and the desire to feverishly chase a dream has been melting a little from my heart. Maybe it’s age or maybe I’m just tired. But, strangely enough, I have had more opportunities to play music live than when I was touting my talents to the world and trying to figure out how to market myself and who to talk to in the music industry. Funny how things begin to fall into place once you let go a little and just truly enjoy what you do and relinquish some control.
I don’t know where I’ll end up with music or writing or my career endeavors, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. At the end of my life, what will matter is the way I’ve walked the journey through life. It’s exciting to think big- to imagine yourself on an Olympic pedestal or playing music for those who truly love it or winning a Nobel prize. But all of these things are just things that will collect dust and after the moment will cease to hold as much excitement as they once had. Therefore, how you grow as an individual, the hard work that builds character, the way you treat others and the lives you influence all hold more weight than the actual attainment of the goal. Remember that. Tell me to remember that. And let’s not let people, places or things define who we are.