Friday, October 9, 2009

So Many Things Left Undone

As our lives come to an end, so many of us have "so many things left undone." There is always another thing you want to get finished, a person you want to see make it through trouble, and young person you really want to see grow into adulthood. But, we don't have too much control over the ending of our lives, just like we don't have any control over the beginning.

So, we might as well accept that we will die with many things left undone. But, we have this day, and there are things we can do or not do today. Maybe the most important ones to do are not the things we think we "need to get done," but the things that deep down in our hearts we would really like to do.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"On the Outside Looking In"

That 10th commandment, "You shall not covet . . . " gets to something very deep and very tragic and twisted in human beings. It really means "don't become envious of others."

Soren Kierkegaard says: "envy is admiration grown sick." It is twisted or perverted admiration.

Envy is when we feel ourselves "on the outside looking in." The Indigo Girls have a song called: "Love Will Come to You" that expresses the longing of human beings for love, and the experience of being "on the outside looking in."

The words are vivid: "my face pressed up against love's glass . . . to see that shiny toy I've been hoping for, the one I never can afford . . . "

It is that haunting feeling that comes around for us that what we really long for is just out of reach.

Now, I know that sometimes a deep longing is very good and ought to be nurtured even if it is not fulfilled. But, I can't help think that so many of our "deep longings" are created out of some real brokenness and twistedness inside of us. What I am talking about is the tendency of human beings to manufacture a series of dreams that are just out of reach to keep ourselves miserable and in a state of always feeling like we are on the outside looking in. Watching a movie and feeling how wonderful it must be to share a love with another like it is portrayed in the movie, while you've got somebody back in the living room who loves you and would enjoy talking with you and sharing a hug with you right now. Not enjoying the nice place to live that we have because it's not as big and expensive a place as the family next door. Not appreciating the healthy body we have because we don't quite meet the standards for Miss or Mr. Universe.

Maybe when we feel like we are on the outside looking in, we ought to take some time to look inside of ourselves. The true longing of human beings is not to live up to some standard in the world outside of us, but to conform ourselves to a mystery deep within us. Now, with regard to that mystery, we may be "on the outside looking in."