To Last a Lifetime

How long is a lifetime?  A glance at an actuarial table will tell you something about average life expectancy, but no guarantees there.  My Grandmother and Great-Grandmother lived well into their eighties; my first two children never saw a birthday.  But still everyone of them lived a lifetime: their lifetime.

Perhaps with no hard and fast rules about the quantity of time, it becomes the quality of whatever time we do get that draws our attention.  Do we squander our time wishing things were different, wallowing in what might have been, or insulating ourselves from every possible disappointment?

When I think about the people whom I admire most, the same traits (though in very different combinations and packages) appear again and again: curiosity, humor, bravery, kindness, compassion.  In short, an almost overwhelming engagement in the life they are leading.  The people who inspire me are leading lives, not enduring them.  And lest you assume that this cadre of exceptional people are free from cares, know this: to a man, they carry a cross under which most would collapse.

So when I want more time, or convenience, or less pain, I move them very much to the front of my mind.  Because I have found that a fuller, deeper engagement in the here and now, in the what’s-right-in-front-of-me, is a potent antidote to the if onlys.

Annemarie

Advertisements

About stalbansparish

St. Alban's Parish is a vibrant and diverse Episcopal Church in Washington, DC near the National Cathedral. We come from every walk of life, every culture and context, and every corner of this region. St. Alban's Parish is active in the city, engaging social issues, and making the reconciling love of Christ known in word and deed. We have ministries for children, youth, young adults, adults, and the elderly. We have outreach programs that address homelessness, poverty, the environment, and hunger. We believe in being open and inclusive to all people no matter disability, age, income, gender, race, or sexual orientation. We welcome the faithful, the seeker, and the doubter, because God's embrace is wide, and God's good news is for all people. We want you to come, participate, grow in God's love, and become a part of the Body of Christ at St. Alban's!
This entry was posted in Annemarie Stroud. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to To Last a Lifetime

  1. Susan Muncey says:

    Do we squander our time wishing things were different, wallowing in what might have been, or insulating ourselves from every possible disappointment? Very poignant! Thank you!
    Susan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s