Sunday, July 29, 2012
I have been around for twenty six years, three months and one day (and counting). I have felt the warmth of twenty six summers and received twenty five new years. I am considered old and experienced by those who are still struggling with their hideous algebra books, and facing heartbreaks and letdowns in high school, and considered young and naive by those who are retiring from a lifetime of hard work and endless efforts to guarantee themselves a nice and cozy deathbed. I consider myself to be both. Even the "experienced" part, as we, in our human condition, gain experience in every single step we take along the way. As humans, we also have the God-given ability to learn. I have been doing a whole lot of learning myself since day one. Some things by choice, and others, not so much. For instance, I grasped the concept of discipline when, at age 4, I grabbed a baseball bat, headed to my flower-devoted father's garden, and decided that his thirty new flower pots were placed there so I could enhance my recently acquired ability to play baseball. Needless to say, my dad taught me a lesson that day, and it wasn't pretty, but Oh did I learn it. However, two of the most substantial things that I've learned, and still learning in life, are to breathe and to die. Yes, to breathe and to die. Breathing is the most common, natural task our bodies perform. Inhale, then exhale, and repeat for about twenty two thousand times a day. To me though, breathing involves way more than just the physiological aspect of it. We breathe at a normal rate when we sleep or watch the sunset, holding a piña colada at the beach, but we seem to lose the ability to do so when we scope the person who makes our heart go bananas. See? breathing accompanies us in every step of this adventure called life. We breathe as we eat, we breathe as we laugh. We breathe as we say "I do" on an altar, making the decision of spending the rest of our lives with our significant other, and we breathe as we say our last goodbye to that special person who was once a part of our life, and now lays inanimate, descending six feet under to their body's final dwelling place. Which reminds me of dying. There are thousands of ways in which we can die. Surprisingly, some people pursue those ways of dying, others (the vast majority) avoid them. But dying is easy if you think about it. Living, on the other hand, is what's demanding. So why do I say that I have been learning and actually wanting to learn how to die? It is not physical death that I speak of. I am totally aware that I will have to face that kind of death someday, and I certainly don't need to undergo special training to achieve it. It's dying to myself that I find challenging. Jesus Himself stated it in Matthew when He said: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it". Crystal clear, no parables. I don't have it all figured out yet myself, but of one thing I'm sure. The words of Jesus are true and abounding in life, and I believe Him. And if He says that the way to find life is to lose it for Him, then that's what I want to do. I arrived into this world on April 28th, 1986 and I don't know when my Father will call me home, but I do know that if I take the time in between and live everyday to die for Him, I will find out that living, is indeed simple.