Sunday, August 7, 2011

Quiet Contemplation

For a few reasons getting older has been on my mind and heart lately. I'm going to be turning the big 3-0 after the New Year and I look at my 'babies' and see three smart, independent, mostly capable children that spend lots of time learning and exploring and creating and I realize not only are they NOT babies anymore, but my oldest is actually as close to being a teenager as he is to being a newborn!

Although some days I miss the time we spent sitting on the floor building blocks and snuggling in the recliner for nursings I am seeing how much awesome stuff we can do together now that they are bigger. I get to experience things I never did during my childhood and re-experience things I did but with all new eyes. I've never built a Lego set before this year and taking the children to feed ducks at the park is a super favorite activity and I remember how my Grandma used to take me to do that all the time.

Some things I'm more excited about then they are (like Disney World!!) and other things I dread even more than I did when I had to deal with it the first time around (like homework!!). Some days I envy them and their tiny responsibilities and mostly carefree life and I think, "what were we thinking?" I remember growing up and getting older not happening soon enough. I remember not waiting until I was 8 and could ride around the block to my friends house. I remember not waiting until I could date, wear make-up, drive a car, move out of the house, do whatever I wanted.

Now I look back and think, man did I waste it? What if I would have enjoyed being 7? or 11? or 15? What if I just lived in the here and now and learned how awesome it was in the moment. As I see our parents and grandparents getting much older it becomes apparent how we (as people) spend so much of our youth dreaming about the future and so much of our golden years reminiscing our past and the years in between have been properly labeled 'the mid-life-crisis.'

Does growing up really need to happen so fast? Is being old really that terrible? Is living in the here and now enjoying the opportunities in front of us really so scary we run out and attempt to change everything about ourselves? New hair cuts, new cars, new body parts, new spouse?

Something I've been told recently is that Jesus has been in our shoes and understands our pain and intercedes on our behalf when we find ourselves on our knees. The image I have been given is that Jesus is saying to God, "I love this person, please hear this plea" What a beautiful thought as I know people that have overcome such amazing difficulties in their lives. I can see Jesus pleading our case before the Father saying this person is special, offer them peace, comfort them, fill them.

But I find that as I have time to quietly contemplate this I begin to think about specific instances of pain and say, well, Jesus didn't experience that specifically because he wasn't a mother or he never got old and since he never sinned, he didn't yell at his mother or disobey his Father. He never spanked his children or had too much to drink while out with his friends. I begin to get discouraged and I find myself questioning the idea that Jesus understands anything at all.

What do you think about during times of quiet contemplation? Do you rely on your future or your past? Do you long for something unique and different for your present? Do you wonder if the Saviour of All People really understands why you make the choices your make? I know I sure do.

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