Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful for a finite life. I suppose that seems hypocritical to what I may have desired here in past blog posts, huh? In fact, it's contrary to what most people desire. Most people want more time, beg for more time. There never seems to be enough time.

The strange thing is that intellectually we all know our days are numbered. And as for the closing curtain, "we know not the place or time." Which is why we constantly are reminded "to make every moment count," "each day is a gift," and "life in the moment." In fact, if I rummaged through your house, office or garage sale, I'd likely find a mini book of these self-help platitudes from Hallmark. Am I right? ;)

It's one thing to know this and a completely other thing to have this knowledge affect your life.

This week, I learned of James Spring. There are complicated and unsavory details to his story, but the gist of it is that, approaching his 40th birthday, he realizes that he is "unremarkable." With 40 looming large, he wants to do something for his birthday that changes that fact. He wants to do something big. While his wife busily plans a typical birthday party, he waits for an earthquake with which he would have the opportunity to help someone. The earthquake doesn't happen, so instead he decides to find two daughters kidnapped by drug-addicted parents, who also happen to be suspected murders, who fled to Baja, Mexico. The girls' grandparents long for the girls to be returned, and the police hadn't been successful in over a month. In two days, James found them, alive, safe and needing the care of their grandparents. Remarkable.

I'm thankful that we have a time limit here on this earth, which creates a sense of value, a sense of urgency that cries out for substance.

We're familiar enough with the idea of tithing. Ten percent of our time, talent and treasure. It's easy to calculate treasure. But what about the time & talent? If each week, we all get 168 hours, then we're asked to give 16.8 hours a week to help, to goodness, to Godness. And it we want to play the math in our favor, let's take out 56 hours of that week for sleeping--how can we possibly be expected to help while unconscious? That would leave each of us with 112 hours from which we are encouraged to give 11.2 hours to help, to goodness, to Godness. Time set aside each week to make this world better for you having been here.

I'm thankful for the seasons of our lifespan: spring to leap into the world with green gusto; summer to flourish and grow like rogue honeysuckle vines; autumn to reap the bountiful harvest; winter to settle in fireside, warm & cozy, telling stories of our seasons. And when the year is over, when the work is over, when the allotted time is over, time itself, like love, becomes infinite for everyone.

What are you thankful for today?

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