There is a nor’easter blowing outside our windows tonight. Winter is making an unwelcome early entrance.
In light of the weather, I am watching Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. Hearing all that Christmas music has brought back so many wonderful memories of years gone by and I am already looking forward to all the joy that season brings.
Just a short while ago, I was trading texts with our son Josh, who is a freshman in college. Through my husband’s best friend Mike, he was able to meet the former poet laureate of Pennsylvania this afternoon. He was incredibly inspired and excited.
I loved his Facebook status: “Had a very enlightening meeting with the former Pennsylvania poet laureate this afternoon. I felt absolutely illiterate and underdeveloped as an artist but all I want to do now is work my hardest and achieve whatever potential I’ve been afforded. I’m excited for the future—feeling determined.”
This was my happy frame of mind when a headline on Facebook caught my eye.
“Lauren Hill Plays First (And Last?) Game.”
Intrigued, I clicked on the story.
And the tears came in torrents. We are talking the ugly cry here.
Lauren Hill is a college freshman, the same age as my son.
She got a basketball scholarship to a college in Ohio and her future looked bright.And then she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and was given only a few months to live.
Now that bright future is clouded with much uncertainty and unbearable sadness.
But Lauren is a fighter; indeed, she refers to herself as a “warrior.” With the help of her parents and coaches, the college agreed to move the first game up by two weeks so she could be well enough to play.
I could not escape the irony as I read that article. (Here is the link).
I had just been getting caught up in the excitement of discussing my son’s dreams with him and now I was reading about a girl his age whose future consists of days rather than years.
I found myself thinking of her parents. I simply cannot imagine what it is like to live in their shoes.
The entire family is focused simply on the present moment, taking nothing for granted.
How many times do I need to be reminded of this?
That tomorrow is not promised?
That my very good God has spread a feast of blessings out for me and how can I sometimes be so blind as to not see?
Oh, this life can be so heartbreaking sometimes. Always mixed in with the beauty is the ugly. A heart this is filled with happiness one moment can be broken in two with pain the next.
We are never so wise as when we open our eyes, stand up, and face life just as it is, living within the tension of “the ugly-beautiful” as Ann Voskamp calls it. Life will never be perfect. The brave accept that and determine to make their lives a treasure hunt, a quest to discover the echoes of Heaven that shimmer and shine in the midst of this dark and fallen earth.
The author of the article on Lauren Hill shared that, “She doesn’t know how tomorrow will go, so she rarely allows her mind to wander too many hours ahead.” (Alyssa Roeinjk).
Wherever you are today, whatever your circumstances, adopt Lauren’s attitude.
Live and love today.
This day spreads out before you like a gift.
Open it. Live it. Face it head on. Celebrate what you can. Pray about what you cannot understand. Laugh. Count your blessings. Make the decision to be fully present. Don’t miss a thing. Be thankful.
Whatever you do, don’t waste it.