Posted by: LucidMystery | January 20, 2008

100 Years

Wow, I feel like I should have left some sort of an extended absence greeting for all of you because I didn’t write in so long. I suppose I have just been a little tied up for the better part of this entire last week.

Right now, I wanted to share with you all something that has been weighing on my mind for a few days. This past week, I went to a dinner put on by Campus Crusade for Christ. They brought in a few speakers who all gave us some interesting information on making choices in life, and one of the speakers included a story about his son in the army who was killed in Afghanistan when he was only 23 years old.

23 years old. Just a little older than me. Now granted, I am well aware of the fact that many soldiers have given their lives at even younger ages, but for lack of less cliche wording, the fact just hit me. Life is short. His was shorter than most; but considering that out of thousands of years of human history we each only have 100 years at most, there is only a little time here. And technically probably only 70-80. What can you do in that time? What should you do in that time?

In Lord of the Rings (you know I can’t get away from Tolkien), Frodo expresses his grief to Gandalf that he has to bear the weight of the ring, and Gandalf offers words that extend beyond just Frodo’s position. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” He didn’t say we will know how much time is given to us, nor that anyone is going to specifically tell us what to do. We have to make the decisions. With that mind, in Little Town on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls comes to the realization that as an adult, the choices we make (as Americans) are not dictated by a king or some form of totalitarian leadership; our choices should be governed by God.

But what does that mean? Listening for God’s voice sometimes seems as difficult as listening for a whisper at a rock concert. How do we know what He wants? How do I stop confusing His voice with my own? When will He reveal His plan to me? As much as all of this tosses about in my head, I don’t think it pleases God that I am stressing as much as I am. Jesus specifically addressed this issue in Matthew 6:25-26. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Of course, that doesn’t mean not to make plans or prepare for the future, but it means that God is going to take care of me. If I only have 100 years at most, I don’t want to wake up one day and realize that I worried half of them away. That’s no way to live my life.

Recently, I’ve been trying to live in the moment as much as possible. I told someone last night that I wouldn’t trade my friends or place here at Otterbein for anything (to which he replied “Not even world peace?” Oy) So maybe I used the superlative a little too freely, but in essence what I said was true. Right now, I’m enjoying the wonderful gift that is this time of my life, but instead of enjoying it, I keep freaking out about what comes next. Honestly, Maria, just fill out your applications, talk to your parents, let go, and let God! Chewing your nails and compulsively checking your e-mail won’t help the situation.

So maybe this is all leading up to an attitude that many “adults” would say proves how young my thinking still is. Maybe they would be right, but maybe they have just been hardened by the life of anxiety that I am trying to avoid. In short, DON’T WORRY!! Now notice that I didn’t say “don’t plan,” “don’t prepare,” or “don’t care.” I said don’t worry. Is worrying going to affect your life in any positive way? No. Planning can affect your life, preparing will affect you life, and caring will most definitely affect your life–and all in mostly positive ways. But worry will never accomplish anything but weaken your spirit and turn your hair gray. In my case, it normally leads to panic. Not a cool feeling.

I suppose after this, I am at a loss for how to end but with one of my favorite songs. It’s wonderfully played and has such a haunting honesty and wistful beauty. Mm! Love it!

100 Years, by Five For Fighting 

I’m 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

I’m 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we’re on fire
Making our way back from Mars
15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
I’m 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I’m a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind
I’m 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I’m heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I’m all right with you
15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live
Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We’re moving on…
I’m 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I’m just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are
15 there’s still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you’re on your way
Every day’s a new day…
15 there’s still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there’s never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

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Responses

  1. I feel like it’s an epidemic of people being unable to hear from God. Facing the future is scary! But you know I’m here for you 100% through anything.

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  2. Thank you for writing. You were very insightful. I worry about the future a lot too 😦

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  3. There were several parts of your blog post that resonated with me. I have said several times recently that I’m just trying to live in the moment. To prove it, check out the quote on my binder when we have our playwriting class together tomorrow. It definitely addresses the concept of living in the moment. I’ve also written about that in a letter to Robby, so if you need more proof that I was also thinking about this, ask to read that love letter. 😉

    Also, the “do not worry” part (quoting Scripture) relates directly to something I just wrote on my missionary application. They asked what would be my biggest challenge physically, mentally, or spiritually on a mission trip. I replied that my answer is shallow. It has a lot to do with “I like feeling clean and smelling nice; what if I’m dirty and stinky at my mission site? I am a picky eater; what if I’m plunked down in the middle of a culture where I don’t like the food?” That’s when I need to remember Jesus’ words of “do not worry about what you will wear or what you will eat.” Too true. But so hard.

    Lastly, I too have developed an even deeper appreciation for our friends at Otterbein. Maybe it’s ’cause we’re seniors. But I don’t want these days to end. I want to be around you guys as much as I can.

    Thank you for this common ground we found together. Good post.

    P.S. Was the “not even world peace?” guy your *boyfriend*, perchance?

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