Saturday, August 17, 2013

Chasing After vs Resting In

I am struck by the idea that so many of us are busy chasing after things: money, relationships, possessions, etc. I am guilty of the same. We all have dreams and hopes that we pursue. What I want is to learn to stop more often and just rest in the space where I am. To rest in the peace I have been given.

When does a person today get a chance to just be whatever or whoever they are?

About five years ago, a long-time acquaintance of mine died. She was young - just over 50 - and I assumed she had been in an accident. When someone told me that she was a suicide, I was stunned. As far as I was aware, she didn't have anything to be so desperately unhappy about. She had a job she seemed to like, she had kids and plenty of friends. People who knew her better than I said that she had been fighting bouts of restlessness and depression. She had tried buying a bigger house, a nicer car, getting a complete physical makeover - like she was trying to become someone different. They remarked that she had seemed so discontented.

In the grocery store not long ago, I got chatting with a fellow shopper (because we Alaskans will stop and talk to almost anyone, stranger or not) after she commented on my handbag. This was a really nice-looking woman. Everything about her showed that she put a lot of thought into her appearance. Her clothes and accessories, her  great haircut and perfectly applied makeup - it was all so casually glamorous. She smelled great and had  what seemed like a real sweet personality. She was one of those people who, when you've talked with them for just a few minutes, you think you'd want to be friends with them. The only thing that seemed "off" were her eyes. Her eyes, even when she was smiling, seemed sad and tired. I've seen eyes like that in my mirror when I've been depressed or grieving or heartbroken.

I'm ashamed and sorry to say that I didn't connect further with the lady in the store. I couldn't find a way to ask if she was okay. I hope that, wherever she is, she is happy.

My point, if I truly have one, is that we are, some of us, walking around in a cloak of despair and sadness. That cloak might look good, cost a lot of money or take a lot of upkeep, but it's still only covering who and what we really are.

I am so glad for my faith in God. When I realize that I can chase. but won't ever catch up to, the things that the world tells me are worthy, I still have the love of God. In the middle of every fear and worry and doubt, I have the promise of a love that is stronger than all that. It's what I rest in.

From the minute we wake up to the minute we sleep, we are pounded with messages telling us to be richer, busier, better-looking, more driven. And we run, run, run to do that, or to catch up to those who seem to be doing that better. Then, when we are all run out, we don't know why we are so worn and tired.

I guess I just want to say that we all need to take time to stop and be thankful and hopeful and joyful for what we have. Stop being so sad and broken over what we don't have. I learned a long time ago that, without the peace I have inside me, I won't enjoy anything the world has to give.

Hopefully, my sarc didn't ruin this post. If nothing else, I hope you got the message that we need to not only find peace for ourselves, but we need to share it.