Red Lights

Red Lights

Ever since we were little, our parents told us we would grow up. One day we would be in school, like all the other big kids. And we would get our own letters in the mail box and get to have bedtime past nine. They said we’d graduate from high school, meet a nice man or woman and get married—and maybe even have little kids of our own.

But what our parents never told us is the letters in our adult mailbox would be lame coupons and scamming bankers. They never said we might move far away from them and only visit every other Christmas. They never said we’d probably work a job we don’t care about, at least for a while.  Or that starting our family comes with paperwork and chores. What our parents never told us is that real grown-up life is sometimes boring and kind of lonely.

So we let ourselves believe in Garden State or Sleepless in Seattle. That one day an incredible person would come into our lives and save us from our self-loathing and boredom. And so we waited.  Once we finally got out of school…or got married…or started a family…or settled down…then we would have a fulfilling life. Then we’d stop crying.

“We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing…So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body” (2 Corinthians 5).

I have a choice. I can let this knowledge burden me—pressure me to run after some mythical cathartic experience before I die. Or I can let it still my heart. Let it remind me of the reconciliation my last breath will usher into my soul. Because there is calm and rest waiting around the corner.

But on Earth—this is it. Much of life is spent vacuuming or waiting at red lights. This is the exciting life that comes with drinking privileges and college degrees. So during this time—sometimes lonely, sometimes boring—I wait. I hope and believe. Not in tomorrow…but in the perfection that comes after tomorrow.

June

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