to die is gain

We saw a character last night – a character who was very real, and looking like he just stepped out of a movie. And there were dancers and people acting generally strange and making me want to put my head inside my jacket. Ahh… such a surreal evening – the kind that any really great storyteller would have turned into the best blog you’ve read all day. But my blog? Suffice it to say, we saw a character last night, looking like he just stepped out of a movie.

Once I was with my friend Ana in Waxahachie, Texas, and we were on our way to the hospital to see some friends who had just had a baby. We took a detour through a park as we were waiting for Preston to show up, got out of the car and sat on a picnic table with our feet on the bench. It was kind of damp and rainy; the trees and leaves around were all different colors. It’s like that movie you watched that one time, when the weather and the characters and the music made you wish you were there, or made your heart feel a certain melancholy you didn’t want to go away.

To paraphrase the most quotable movie on the planet (is that an oxymoron or what?) – So often I find that life reminds me of characters and places I’ve read about in books when, shouldn’t it be the other way around?

I’m feeling a bit of melancholy this morning, and it might just be the kind I don’t want to go away. Here’s a definition of melancholy for you: “sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness.” I’m soberly thinking that I have replaced God with every other thing, desire, and dream in my life. And no, not in an overt, “I don’t need you” kind of way. More in the “I’m pretty sure I’m doing okay for the moment..” kind of way. I have realized lately how much stock I put in my earthly perception – and how little grasp I have of what is “true” in this life. And even as I write and think on these things, I know I have much to learn – especially in the way of acting on these instincts. How to LIVE a life that truly reflects the fact that communion with God is the only thing that matters – and not just live life while professing to believe that communion with God is the only thing that matters?

I have spent my whole life putting stock in who I am, who I will become, what I will do, what this life is about – gleaning my idea of what matters from those around me, from my education, from media and entertainment. Now I’ve come to the point of realizing that those things aren’t real – that they don’t really matter. Not just knowing or believing it – but FEELING it. So why does it also feel like literally losing everything to lay it down?

Why doesn’t “To die is gain” ring a little more true?

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