Pages

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Making Meaning | Holy Saturday 2021


"A mortal, born of woman, few of days and full of trouble, comes up like a flower and withers, flees like a shadow and does not last.
 —Job 14:1-2 NRSV

"Life is short. That's all there is to say. Get what you can from the present—thoughtfully, justly."Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 4:26e

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world. 
from "When Death Comes" by Mary Oliver

In between the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus there's a pause. A day with a silent tomb and grieving disciples in hiding. A day of disillusionment over a life that ended without having fulfilled the goal for which it seemed to be intended. 

Some people, like me, have some anxiety about doing things and trying to make something special of life. The trouble with having an interesting life is the cost in stress, uncertainty, and instability. On the other hand. Other folks seem content to follow the path of their parents before them, remaining in the same area in which they were raised and doing the same kind of work. Between those two is everyone who perhaps moves and does different work, but follows what has become the standard path in the United States: college, profession, marriage, children, retirement. 

There's not a thing wrong with any of that. Not the path of radical divergiance, not that of generational sameness, and not that of simply following the 'American dream.' What you make of your life is up to you. 

The disciples found it inconceivable that their expectations had been destroyed, and they came to believe that his life must have meant something different than they thought. What Jesus thought of his life is not accessible to us, as the stories were told and committed to writing about it, not by him. It's the meaning others found in him, and it inspired them.

What someone will make of my life after I'm gone is something I can't control. I can only live the best way I know, pursuing my own goals, and hope that I leave something behind that people find worth converting into meaning for themselves.