Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Squeezing Life Out of Life

There’s a quote, and I quote :-) “God put us on this earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don’t know.” I don’t remember where I first saw it. I like to remember where I first saw things. I think it was the mid-90s. Anyway, it always brings a smile.

I do believe that we were all put on this earth for a purpose - containing a number of smaller or not-so-clear purposes. The afore-mentioned “others” have theirs, too.  There’s another quote I came across in the mid-90s; this one by Woodrow Wilson: “We are not here merely to make a living, but to enrich the world with a finer spirit of hope and achievement and we impoverish ourselves if we forget the errand.”

Then, there’s the adult-life awakening I experienced as I came to be at peace with myself and stopped listening to the voices of the fears in my head. It was at the time I started my CYOPro blog…oh. I’m here. Yes, this blog. And, I was able to put into words my thoughts that the many dimensions to me are no surprise to my Maker. I was at last settled in the truth that I ought not to be “so heavenly-minded that I am no earthly good.” I’m a multi-dimensional creature trying to squeeze every bit of life out of life to the pleasure of my Creator.

So, when it itched to the point where I could no longer ignore it on the 23rd of May, I had to scratch. I published a post out of the ordinary, about a matter that I do not ordinarily address in this space. And, I’m glad I did. (All blog posts for Jamaica Blog Day.)For, there are some things that simply will not ease up; will not let you go gently into that good night, until you drop what you are doing to do what you have to. And, I believe that if you have the power and the ability to do a service to make the world a better place, and you don’t do it? There will be a certain something that will eat at you and torment you and fill you with rest-of-your-life angst and regret. We have heard it over and over: no one can be you or be as good a you as you are. So, might as well get on with being yourself. For me, it is spiritual. I continually ask God to help me be the best of the me He created me to be. And, quite frankly, I need all His help I can get.

Sometimes, you don’t know the difference you make. I wrote about that a few years ago. You do something or write something or help someone and the deed takes on a life of its own as it traverses personal space or cyberspace and ignores geographical and other boundaries and deposits seeds of hope or wonder or delight into ready or waiting or yearning or aching hearts for such a moment as this. And this. And this. As moment begets moment, the effects of your deed take on new life and new meaning. It is a beautiful thing. Remember that favourite line of mine from that low-keyed movie? “Funny, isn’t it, how one moment can change a million after it?” (How She Move) Yeah, it’s kinda like that.

As for “squeezing life out of life”? It is easier said than done with all the responsibilities and commitments and obligations of day-to-day yadda yadda yawn. There are a couple of notions at play, here. One, that life has to be fun and exciting (read: filled with travel and/or wild adventurous things) and so on and so forth. For some, so it is. For some, not so much. Does it really mean that human beings are not living their lives to the fullest if they’re not doing totally wicked! things every day? I’d say it depends on what’s “totally wicked” as far as each of us is concerned. One size doesn’t fit all and…know what? Even in a generational context, one size still doesn’t fit all. 

To give you an idea of what was “totally wicked” for me as a teenager in Jamaica: One of my long-held desires was to one day climb that grand old tree out by Ferry. (Mountains and huge trees calm me. I think it’s the stature and majesty of them.) This one stood overpoweringly, amidst lesser trees, south west of the Ferry Police Station. And, every so often as I travelled to Kingston, I’d brush off my dream and picture myself scurrying…ok, not scurrying, but, climbing its huge branches all the way to the top. There was just one little…umm, hitch. I was – and still am – terrified of li*ards. I somehow couldn’t figure out a way, even in my daydream, to get rid of them; imagining them just waiting to terrorize me in the yet-to-be-climbed tree. Well, suffice it to say, on one of my trips back to Jamaica, I looked to see whether that tree was still standing. It was not. There it lay, a shadow of its former glory, roots hoisted in the air. It didn't look as though it had been brought down by act of man. I think one of the hurricanes uprooted it. I’m (mostly) over it.

So, yes, one person’s definition of a “totally wicked” life, is likely not the same as another’s. “Totally wicked” might be defined as “absolutely fulfilling” for some.  And, well, I need say no more on that.

Another notion is that the definition is wont to change over time. I don't desire to climb trees, anymore. (For the record.) When folks bother to ask what I do for fun, it’s easy for me to tell them that I write or read or watch movies. (That’s someone’s definition of boring, I imagine.) Still, that doesn’t mean that I don’t look forward to going out and talking to, y’know, people, once in a while. Ok. It’s not that bad. Point is, travel and get-togethers are also on the list occasionally. And, glad you asked. Yes, I’ve decided to do more of that now. I’ve attained a higher level of peace after off-loading to the Lord the other day. Hadn’t realized how much stuff/worry I’d accumulated since the years-ago awakening – even with all the recent decluttering. So, as I mentioned to someone the other day, I’m free, single and able to do whatever the heck I want. I said heck.

Some of that squeezing life out of life and “living it to its last drop” (Erma Bombeck) means doing for others. Some of that doing will get no recognition whatsoever. But, that’s okay. My duty is to be obedient and show up – even when I don’t want to. (Lord, You want me to do what?) Scroll up. That’s why I need all His help I can get. Serving should be done cheerfully. It doesn’t even have to make sense to neck. There is one thing that He seems to have built into serving/helping others. When you do something with all your heart, and you give it your best? You get a nice, warm feeling of joy in your spirit. And, you can’t help but think that He is pleased.


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