My parents talk about getting back to normal life. I talk to my friends about trying to get back to normal life. And all the while in my mind, I am striving to understand what exactly normal life is. If normal life means going back to what I was doing before December 6, then I don't think that is going to happen. I feel like Jessica in "The Man From Snowy River" right after the scene when she spends a night dangling between life and death on the edge of a cliff. In the morning Jim finds her and rescues her and she confesses that she doesn't want to go back to her overbearing father, back to her old life--that while she was on that mountainside she started to see her life very clearly. Now, I am not about to profoundly announce that I am deeply in love. No, it's a bit more than that. I hope that I am a good deal more mature than Jessica to understand that there is more to life than pursuing your new-found crush.
However, I am about to say that the majority of my life seems very trivial in light of recent events. I could excuse my intuition away as shock and simply get on with normal life, but I'm not entirely convinced that God's providence works that way. God loves us too deeply to let us be satisfied with anything other than Himself. When He shakes us, He intends to wake us, let the scales fall from our eyes and make these blurry walking trees before us finally become clear. Every great tragedy we encounter is not a signal for us to quit our lifestyles and pursue entirely different careers or college degrees or whatever it is we were pursuing beforehand. Sometimes we cannot do anything but continue as best we can. But I do believe that God chastens us with an expectation of repentance and reevaluation.
|"This is not the hardest part of all.|
This is just the seed that has to fall.
All our lives we till the ground,
Until we lay our sorrows down
And watch the sky for rain."
Another one of my good friends told me recently, "What is the pursuit of a career or a college degree if you lose your joy in Christ?" Once again, I felt like Jessica trapped on the mountainside. Right then, "everything seemed so clear to me." I realized that I didn't owe my passion or my zeal to anyone except Jesus and His people. I sometimes wonder if I haven't exhausted myself simply by trying to pour my passion into my vanity and pride where it never belonged.
Part of my decision is directly connected to my brother Ben. Naturally, he has been a large part of my life. But more recently, he was a vast part of my college life. We drove into campus together every morning at 7:30 am. And we drove home together every night. If I ever was having a crisis of any sort, I would call him, and he was there. Whether I was distraught over missing an exam or accidentally forgot my accompanying music folder at home, he was there with a solution, there to offer some stability and assistance. He was certainly no prince charming all of the time. He enjoyed berating me about the fact that I know next to nothing about cars and how I was inadvertently destroying his by failing to check the oil. We had our fair share of arguments and fall outs. As his sister, I had the privilege of witnessing his frustrated, disparaging, insecure side more than most people. But despite all of Ben's faults and misgivings, he never failed to make himself available when it was apparent he was needed.