Tick-Tock

7 May

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Insomnia can pay off — if you are really awake.

It was one of those nights when sleep seemed impossible. Tired, a bit under the weather, prayers all done, still I could not sleep. Finally, I got out of bed, went into the living room and settled onto the recliner and covered up with a blanket.

Reclining there, I tried again to relax, to breathe deeply and exhale slowly, to tell my subconscious to shut up. I tried to pray some more.

Irritation grows

But, then came the sound: “Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock” – that relentless ticking and tocking of that old grandfather clock.

It seemed to grow more insistent, even louder. I tried smothering the sound by praying in time with the clock: “Je-sus, “Je-sus.” But no, sleep would not come.

Reality creeps in

I became a bit uneasy as I realized that clock was “telling” me something: “Every tick-tock is a moment of your life, come and gone, irretrievable. You are moving incessantly toward the end of your life on earth.”

What have I done with my life? How could I have done better? These questions might work well for an examination of conscience, but they also can be a cop-out, a way to avoid the real questions I must face every moment of my life: “Who am I right now? How do I measure up to life right now?”

Much of  my life, and perhaps of yours, too, was spent as a “wanna-be:” I want to have this job, be this rich or popular, have this kind of family, have this relationship with God.” Then for a time, I could say with some sense of accomplishment, “I am who I wanted to be; I achieved most of my goals.”

But, gradually I became afraid I would become a “has-been.” In other words, “I will no longer be who and what I was; I’ll be irrelevant, unneeded, just someone existing alongside life.”

Tick-tock – wanna-be, am, has -been.

The danger point

But there is a subtle step between “am” and “has-been.” I had lived through that time without realizing its danger. It is that “used-to-be” step. That happened when I retired from active employment. I began to focus on the past, on what I used to be and do, afraid to look at myself in the here and now, refusing to give up what had been for fear of becoming a “has-been.”

Trying to relive the past, to find reason for living, is as useless as it is foolish.

You and I are valuable – not because of what we did or “who” we were but who we are right now – who we have really been every moment of our lives, from conception to the present tick-tock breath we inhale.

The awakening

I understand why I am alive! God has willed me into existence. This is the essence of who I am – someone God created out of love. He decided I should live. At the moment I was conceived in my mother’s womb, God breathed into me an immortal soul, made me in his image. I was created by God in love, to love and to be loved. He loves me so much he sent Jesus to die for me, to bridge the gap that sin had created between him and me. Jesus and the Father sent the Holy Spirit to me, to all of us, to form the Church in which faith and love are life – not just words.

As long as I can hear that old clock tick-tocking away, I am alive; I can love and be loved.

Because of God I can never, ever, ever, ever be a “has-been.” I will always be an “I am” – alive in him. Even after my last breath I will be forever alive in him.”

I am indeed alive and relevant.

And so are you.

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2 Responses to “Tick-Tock”

  1. Carolyn Simonds October 29, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Excellent diagnosis! Thank you for such needed validation

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