Life, values, faith and related stuff
By: Tim W Calaway
| Posted: Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 12:03 pm
“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” - Marcel Proust
Anna recorded that arresting concept in her journal a couple of years ago after she’d crossed off another item on her “bucket list” – a trip to spectacular Alaska from her home in the American Midwest. Those words bent the bough with significance for her given she was being forced to do what more of us need to do which is, to cite a famous country tune, “Live Like You Were Dying.”
This past Sunday morning an insistent cancer claimed Anna’s life just weeks short of her 38th birthday. An “untimely” death, we casually label such – someone taken suddenly, tragically, “before their time,” we say, as if there’s some kind of a warranty that comes with your birth certificate.
2013 has reminded me there are indeed no warranties or product guarantees attached to life. Fact is, we’re promised nothing more than the current breath we take, although we assume otherwise. Even obtaining the most expensive Nikes doesn’t alter the truth that all of us tread upon banana peels on a regular basis.
Accordingly, I trust you’ll understand why I feel some sense of obligation to my friends who’ve departed this realm at comparatively young ages during this calendar year to respectfully encourage readers to consciously live like you were dying. My motivation is not morbidity but reality. I believe it’s what Cory (39), Lenaya (47), Richard (58), David (44), Lauren (59), Kim (53), and Anna (37) might want me to do.
In short, I’m asking: what’s on your bucket list, and why? Like the characters in the movie Bucket List, I’ve learned from many who’ve been advised their time is short of their desire to travel and see more of the world. That’s a noble pursuit especially since, as several have commented, seeing new landscapes instills a sense of both the majesty and the mystery of life and death.
As many of the great thinkers of history, however, have suggested, it’s short-sighted to consider nature an end in itself. Nature serves as an enhancement to seeing something more. Just as there’s something more behind the delights available via that latest piece of electric gadgetry you just obtained, there is always more behind hardware, software, mountains and rivers.
Like Anna, I desire to live the remainder of my days with new eyes that see far, far more than merely what’s on the surface of things. How about you?
Tim is pastor of Faith Community Church, Airdrie, and welcomes your thots @timwcallaway, firstname.lastname@example.org or 403.948.6727.