11 August 2006

Subtle Messages?

It seems like lately life has been conspiring to send me certain messages. Or maybe it's just that I'm more able to synthesize them because of the amount of writing I'm doing. Or possibly it has to do with my increasing training in lit crit, which has caused me to start seeing patterns and meaning in almost everything. Or maybe it's that I'm feeling a lot more in tune with the Spirit lately. Whatever combination of these it is, I certainly got one straight message in the past few days: don't waste your life simply enduring, waiting to do what you want to do.

Some of the factors leading up to this realization:

  • Our discussion Thursday at CS Lewis Society. Somehow, we got off on the topic of going and living in a primitive hunt in the planter box inside the HFAC, and maybe living off farming and fishing in the JFSB courtyard. You scoff, but the real point to me was that mankind always thinks that it wants to go back in time because it seems so much simpler, that there might be more time for real life in that era. But in reality, in almost all times, men have found ways to fill their lives with dull tasks that seem necessary but don't really mean anything. But there is also hope, because in all times, we can also find a way to get past all the unimportant things and feel in touch with God, ourselves, and joy. The key is not to go back in time, live in a hut in the HFAC, or to throw out your computer/TV: that only treats the symptom. The real problem is wasting time--letting it slide by us without caring how we've used it. The solution is simple. It's simply to think about how you are spending your time, and eliminate those things that don't bring you closer to the person you want to be. The key is to truly long to become what you should be--and then to do what you can to move yourself there. The very longing to become something, the passion that it stirs up within us, makes the road worth traveling, regardless of whether we reach its end.
  • Reading Joni's first blog entry. Welcome to the blogosphere dear Lilymaid. But really, her comment about realizing she wasn't a bookworm anymore really struck me. I had exactly the same realization at the beginning of this summer as I started reading Ben's blog. I looked at all the books he was reading and things he was doing, and I thought, what I am doing with my life? In elementary and middle school, I used to plow through two to three books a week. I loved reading and learning and doing. But since I let the busy-ness and pressure of high school and college take over, I hadn't made time for those things that I once enjoyed. Even worse, I had started to hate reading because it was so associated with the stress of classes. Which is why I've been so insistant on reading this summer, even during Spring term when I felt like I was going to collapse. I needed to remember why I used to love it. And now I do.
  • Seeing You Can't Take it With You at Hale. (Arg! Someone remind me whether play titles are supposed to be in quotes or italics.) In addition to a hilarious printer character who sort of reminded me of Ben, the message of the play was right on target. It's about a romance between the daughter of a family of eccentric, poor playwrights, dancers, and firework-makers and the son of a wealthy Wall Street banker. Predictably, when the two families collide chaos ensues. But the message was that even though the artistic family was poor, strange, and disorganized, at least they went out and did what they wanted to do, whereas the businessman spent six to eight hours a day doing things he found boring, just for the pursuit of money that he could spend in his one hour of free time. There was one especially moving part where the father of the eccentric family talked about the idealistic dreams and plans we all make in college, pointing out that only a few lucky ones get to say they did even half of what they planned. It made me so sad, to think of all the people out there wasting their lives working for "that which cannot satisfy."
  • A radio commercial. Yup. While driving home from the play, I heard a commercial for some auto repair place. The guy said, "I spend eight hours at the office fixing transmissions, and then I go home and do exactly the same thing. I work on cars in my garage. After [some-odd] years, my work and my hobby are still the same." That's the kind of life I want for me, and especially for my husband--I've seen the effect of a hated job on a man and consequently on his family. Everyone has something that they would love to do; why don't we all stop aspiring to be doctors and lawyers just because we will make money, and go out and do the thing we love?

I'm resolved to either start loving everything I do, or just getting rid of it. And that's really the thing: to be able to love everything you do, mundane, intellectual, or otherwise. Cooking, homework, reading, spending time with friends, cleaning your house--all should be things we bask and glory in. Down with the separation between work and leisure! I am determined to love it all.

1 comment:

Marisa VanSkiver said...

It is a good thing then that I was able to find an on-campus job doing what I love to do. Though, even though I love web design, I think that sometimes doing it day after day takes some of the fun out of doing it.