To Be or Not to Be (Part 7)

Well, this is it. This is the end of all things. We are staring into the casket with our name on it. We have been given a sure and certain diagnosis. Two months to go. What matters in those two months that has never mattered before?

Really think about it. What rises to the top of the to-do list? Would you keep working, just to have something to do? Would you need to work to eat? Would you be extravagant? Would you savor moments more? Could you?

Or would it inevitably be a series of factors outside of our control? Would it be a series of things that we try but can not necessarily pull off? After all, just because we know we are going to die doesn’t mean we are given some super power.

Or does it? Are we given a keen awareness of life? Do we cut through tape that most people stop for? Do we disregard unnecessary pauses? Do we get to sort of a holy urgency, not of the unimportant but of making the important happen?

Inevitably we will have options. We will have some opportunity to make an easier living. Doing something easy is always in our grasps. But we all have this nagging sense, this aggravating luring toward something important.

We will rationalize that it is not more important than any other thing. We may even rationalize that other things are probably more important. What we are best at comes so naturally we may almost feel like it is of no use to anyone.

We would be wrong in such instances. For the gifts are given for the common good. We will not and can not know the extents of our gifts in isolation of their service to the community. We need the community to help us understand them.

And we need the urgency of our own mortality to hasten the use of those gifts. We have got to shake off whatever we think we are trying to do to get to the pure core of simply doing it. Only then do we experience the freedom of our gifts.

Of course this pursuit of our gifts will feel extremely selfish. We will inevitably realize all those casualties of our sacred focus. And for those who are considerate, the desire to put other’s needs first will have the potential to shipwreck us.

I mean, what a great ploy. Strangle the creative with the fear of letting those we love down. Mismatch the message to the degree that doing what we are called to do feels like selfish dreaming. Playing it safe heroic and sacrificial.

It’s a lie, but a powerful one. It is true we will see our family more if we play it safe. Absolutely true. But who will we be? Will we be the kind of person we want our kids to be around? Will we be any sort of role model for our children’s success?

Life is sacrifice. Everyone sacrifices. To sacrifice a calling for the sake of our family is on one hand very noble. To pass it on to another generation inspiring. But what will we be passing on? Is there life outside of our calling worth passing on?