Yesterday morning I was sitting in my truck waiting for the rain to let up. It was a heavy rain. The kind of rain that makes rivers on the streets and small ponds in low areas. As I watched the rivers run and ponds fill, I was reminded of a time long ago at my grandparent's house.
Their house was a small house on Matthews Avenue in Sikeston, Missouri. As a child there would be two to three (perhaps more) weekends a year that our family would visit there. On the street outside the front of their house, the road dipped. In this lower area was a storm drain that seemed to always be clogged. When it rained, the water would flow from the east and west into this recess in the street, forming a sizable pond.
Once the rain stopped, I would run outside to stomp and splash in the water. I'd find twigs and float them, as though they were boats. Seven or eight twigs and I'd have an armada. As I grew older and could ride a bike, I'd run a bike through the pond. The faster you hit the water the higher the spray would fly. That was the goal; high and far-reaching spray.
I suppose I am willing become a bit more transparent at times with this space. It is easy to do, knowing that not many people read it. That makes it safe.
One of the few things that I set my mind and spirit to this year, that I have actually fulfilled, it to write in my journal every day. And while I have not intention of sharing all that I write there, far far from it, I do find that occasionally there is something there that I may use here. They are not stories or dreams, but reflect on life and how I am feeling at specific times.
As I have noted in the past, I have a deep sense of wanderlust. As I once told my daughter, "wanderlust can be a cruel trait to live with." It creates an ongoing sense of unsettledness. For me it means an almost constant desire to be somewhere else doing something else instead of being content where I am at with what I am doing. I truly wish I knew what causes this feeling. Why must I seemingly always be in search of something other than what I have, when what I have is pretty good?
The other day I wrote:
"It seems I am having a day of bemoaning my life; the same old where I am and what I am doing versus where I wish to be and what I wish to do. I won't bother with the details; we've been here many times before. But as I am I writing about this the thought occurred to me, I dream about it but I don't do anything about it. I am not taking specific actions to make any of my dreams into my reality. Yes, I save money to take trips, and in part, that is a specific action I suppose. Though, it is difficult to get excited about it at times.
"In the broad sense, I suppose I am not much different that most everyone else; in that, we live our lives day in and day out and there really isn't that much remarkable about it. At least I think that is how most people live. And I suppose I just get used to the reality that that this pretty much the way life is supposed to be. We're not meant to be on adventures, or living a life full of excitement twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We probably couldn't handle it and, in time, that too would become boring. Though, being back in missions and being back in England would fit the bill for adventure and excitement in some respects.
"I guess I am just in that thoughtful place where I don't want to live many more days, or reach the end of my days and find that the words I use to describe my life are 'if only.' I want my days, however many more God intends for me to have, to be something more. I am not searching for the profound, but for something that will occasionally bookend the stream of days in and days out with a 'Wow! Now that was something.'"
I woke up too early this morning with my thoughts on _______ and his _______.
_______ is the second friend I have lost to cancer within a year. First there was ______. Now _______. Then yesterday I learned that my friend _______ _______, who has been fighting stomach cancer for over a year, has been admitted to hospital so that he can fed intravenously. These past two weeks he has been in intense pain and has been unable to eat much at all.
_______ is another who we can take encouragement from. He has a thirst for life and refuses to give up or give in.
When I consider these things, I do not have any desire to shout and wave my fist at God demanding an answer to why things like this happen. I don't. We are but temporary residents in a fallen world, and in this world tragic things will come to good people. Our duty, our course, our race, is to live a life that points others to Christ -- to inspire others to live life in such a way that inspires.
When I consider my friends, the two who have run their races and the one who is still running, I am inspired! I have learned something, many things, from all three of these gentlemen that I wish to carry forward as I continue to live out my days. If I can do that, the quality and richness of my days will be increased.
Lord, I thank You and praise You for absent friends and those friends whose company I am blessed to still cherish.
There once was a time when, all I could dream of was to go the beach. To walk along the shore. To sit on the deck, or the balcony, and listen to the surf. To stare off into infinity for hours at a time. I would dream of what it would be like to live on the beach. There once was a time when, all I could dream of was the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom. To walk along the lanes and the out of the way paths. To sit on a bench, or perhaps at a table, and listen to the parks. To listen to my heart and be a child once more. I would dream of what it would be like to live near the parks. Now, all I seem to dream of is to be back in England. To walk on the streets of London, or in the parks (Hyde, Kensington, Green, St. James), along well-worn, aged streets. To sit at a table in the Covent Garden, listening to classical music. To be only a few hours away from the southwest coast, or the City of Light. Always surrounded by, and listening to the sounds of the city. I dream of what it would be like to live in England (again).