19 July 2009

History Lessons

My computer has crashed. I am using a 9 year old lap top that does get the job done, but I have difficulty typing on it for any length of time. I have almost got it set up to where I can use it and not want to have my hands fall off. I have so many little gadgets hooked into it, it looks like something from a science fiction novel. Or stranger still like I might be a super geek. Nothing could be further from the truth. This computer is so old it has a disc drive and I didn't even understand how to use that!

Not being on the computer has been good for me. It's given me time to be pensive and reflect about the things in my life that are bugging me. Things that are hard to articulate. I think it centers on my mortality. We have such a brief time. We are less than a blip on the radar and we're gone before anyone realizes we were here.

My sister has been dead for 19 years. That's nearly two decades. I remember parts of her so vividly and parts of her escape me completely. She died leaving behind 5 beautiful children. One of her sons has died. He had very little time with his mother and we had very little time with him. My mom died almost 25 years ago. My father died 5 years ago. For a girl who had her great-grandfather until she was 17, at 52 there are few people who knew me as a child. I have siblings who are alive and well but I don't see them often enough. It's not so much my mortality that bothers me. It's my history. My history is being lost mostly because I am doing nothing to make it, let alone preserve it.

I am not certain how to make history. I am not talking about Warhol history or the attention of world. I mean a meaningful contribution. I want to die well, like Rachel Barkey. I want to do it right. I want to die living each minute the right way.

The first time peace is mentioned in the bible is in Genesis. God tells Abraham about all the really difficult things that are going to happen to him and his descendants but the last bit of that is telling him he will go to peace with his fathers. Knowing how difficult it was going to be, Abraham was all in and God kept His promises. Not that God's promises are contingent on us mind you, that's not what I am saying. I am saying we none of us know what our lives will hold. God hasn't told us like he told Abraham. Every moment after this one may contain nothing but blessing or nothing but hardship. It will probably contain a little of both. The hard stuff wont be as hard as we deserve and the good stuff will be better than we can possibly imagine it. We still need to be all in because although we don't know like Abraham did what it will look like in the middle, we do know how it will end. And that's the trick to making history, living like you know the end of the story.