"Why bother?" you say. "I just finished that yesterday."
Life does seem to go on and on, around and around -- one thing after another. Yet what's one to do? You do not decide when you're born and when you die. God directs the flow. You, can, however, decide how you spend the time you have.
One asks, "What shall I do with my life and how do I spend it?" We need always to pray to God for guidance, but there are a certain number of jobs and obligations we must do out of necessity, such as washing clothes, attaining food, sleeping and so on.
You think you're busy all the time and many people are. But most people occasionally encounter lulls within their lives. Unless you're playing catch-up, you must decide how you're going to fill your time off. That's when you must discern whether to stand and be bored, find something worthwhile to do or merely rest.
Many people are avidly active at church, helping out at school, food pantries and answering other callings. While they're engaged with their missions, it consumes their thoughts, fills their need for fulfillment and helps the cause they're involved in. While they're busily engaged it seems like they've always been around performing those jobs. You wonder how the institution, family, or undertaking would survive without them.
As everyone knows no person is indispensable, except to those who love them. Although you may miss someone when they retire from, or simply change jobs, another comes along and fills the gap. The other person then does things his way. He performs some of the duties better than you and some with less efficiency. Nevertheless, he interacts and conducts business his way using the talents that God has given him. It's like the fitting person appeared when the time or season was right.
Lynn's dog died recently. The dog was 15 years old and truly a member of his family. Bianca, the dog, was older than his children so naturally the event was quite traumatic. Although Bianca was loved immensely, she had become quite time consuming to care for and medically expensive. She could scarcely rise when she was down. Yet the family could not ignore their conscience and summon the courage to have her euthanized. The dog passed on her own when it was time for her to go. God had relieved the family of her constant care, the decision concerning her life was made, and Bianca was freed from her disabilities and pain. A similar circumstance occurred a few years earlier when another family dog died. Will Lynn acquire another canine pet starting all over again? I suspect he will.
You see someone near death many times, then you watch as they overcome what ailed them and become healthy again, often more active than before. Someone enters a nursing home to recover from an accident. You wonder if he or she is there for good. Then, they too, heal and regain their strength. Even though they, too wondered if they would be the same again, they rise from their dilemma and continue as before. Except they're now equipped with new experiences and lessons learned. That's how genuine wisdom evolves.
People are like the wheel that keeps turning, like the water that continues to flow. We too go from fresh to stagnant to fresh, depending on the contamination we incur or the weather conditions.
We have no choice; we must go on living and doing until God's season for us done.
The human spirit keeps on moving. Undaunted it keeps on trying and continuing to overcome grief. We can always begin again, we think. One watches the sun as it repeatedly rises, the grass continuing to burst through the ground and flowers blooming over and over. Lent and Easter verify that new beginnings are always possible.
Ellen Shuck holds degrees in psychology, religious education and spiritual direction and provides spiritual direction to people at her office.