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Among the Tombstones

Out among the tombstones there is no space for the trivial and the fleeting.

There is no space for tomorrow’s meeting or the weight of failure, no matter how great or small. There is no space for the worries that attach themselves to us until they weigh us down, until we walk from day to day with a limp. No space for the burden of greed, or lust, covetousness, no burden of the possessions that possess us.

There is only space in your heart for the one question:

The single question that rises and cannot be suppressed or shrouded, that cannot be dulled by cheap entertainment or distraction. Out among the tombstones, all we need to know is how to make the most of the days we have left?

For the days are few, they are few for the old and young alike. The common fate, the ending shared by all colors, all creeds, all religions, that one day the life we take for granted comes to an end, an end marked by a stone with your name on it.

This is a question of calling. Of why we have been given breath in our lungs and what we are expected to do with it. The gardens of earth lay untended while we hold the tools and seeds in our hands. I don’t want to waste my life. I don’t want to spend my days serving the very things that death makes into a mockery -- riches, nothing, adoration, nothing, accolades, nothing, nothing. They are nothing.

I see the rows and rows of those who have come before and have now entered the mystery, those who speak to us in their own quiet ways, hear them: carpe diem, seize the day, gather ye rosebuds while ye may for old time is still a flyin, the same flower that smiles today tomorrow will be dying.

Eternity is impossible to fathom. We know of no existence without end, and our minds cannot comprehend a life lived in perpetuity. We must hope, and hold firm to hope, but we cannot truly know what happens after we die, only that are more than a body, that there is more than just this life. The universe and our minds are too complex, too intentional for the story to end with the simple death of the body. But we cannot know.

All we can know is what we are able in this moment.

And the one question we must ask among the tombstones is what to make of this one wild life?

The answer is to go forth and discover the universe. That is the call for us. To live fully in the world that was made for us, the world that we try to narrow over and over into routines and predictable experiences, into storehouses full of this or that. Storehouses that burn down, this or that that rots.

All that we truly have is love. That is what lives in us now - in our spirits and our bodies - and stays with us as we enter into the strangeland of death. And all the remains is faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.

So let us live fully. Let us abandon the things we cannot carry with us - they have no worth on the other side. The only currency is love. Everything else is worthless.


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