Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Heavy Stuff

One thing is certain and the rest is lies
The flower that once has bloomed
Forever dies.

A nice thing about being near death is that it really sorts things out. Helps you realize what is not important, get it out of the way. The basic questions take over and the things you used to like start to fade away. Old age helps too.

I went to Uncle John's home for a little reception. His son opened the door. "Can I take your coat?" he asked. He got me a chair and asked if I would like something to drink.

"Your son sure is thoughtful," I told John. He sighed, "But Buddy, it took a lot of beatin' to get him that way."

That pretty well describes it for a lot of us. A lot of beatin'.

I had Santa Clause beaten out of me--the whole Christmas thing, actually. In theology, a lot of stuff was beaten out--a lot of pride and illusions. I started to really believe the Bible. Not just what people said about it, but the book itself.

I had a terrible thought. If you can't find it in the Bible, maybe it was just made up? How much of my belief about things is tradition and human nature, not the Word?

I'm not kidding, this hurts. You can lose friends, maybe even family members, with such an attitude. Gets lonely out there.

Are there compensations? There sure are. Aquinas said, "When you love one thing less, you love another more." Instead of loving people at Christmas time I loved them year round. Instead of the beauty of a decorated tree, I saw the beauty of a tree never to be brought into a house. The 25th of December faded as I thought of how precious every moment of time is, every date.

But the really heavy stuff arises. Eternity becomes so important. You have seen so many die, some quite young, that you want to live where people do not die, ever. Everything in its time, I guess. Now is the time to look at all of life and say, What really matters?

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