What’s Really Important Here?

By

 

2008 beckons. For many years I’ve reserved the week between Christmas and New Years Day as a week to think and plan. It’s a time I use for reflection and for measuring life; a time for gathering up the broken pieces of painful choices, unfortunate detours, and missed opportunities. Further and on a more positive note, it’s a time for celebrating the blessings and joys that God has provided, despite the fact that I too often get in the way of His plans.

Sitting in my home office last week, up to my eyebrows in constructing goals for the “big” picture of my life, I received a phone call from my son. He sounded slightly out of breath and his tone was urgent. Did he have a lead for new large account? Surely he was calling with an idea for making more money in 2008 than in 2007? Maybe he’s calling to discuss the weight loss and healthy eating plan we are starting in January. (He thinks he’s unacceptably overweight because he gained five pounds this year. At 24, little does he know how good pictures taken now will look in 25 years.)

“Why is he interrupting me now?” I thought to myself. “Surely he knows how busy I am.”

“Dad,” he said, “You’ve got to see these trees.” Then without allowing time for my response, he proceeded to tell me how awesome the trees looked after the overnight frost, describing in detail how the frost clung to the branches, like a winter wonderland. He gave me detailed instructions on where to find the coolest views. Breathlessly, he told me that the trees were even more beautiful than the pink and orange sunset we saw on the way to Grandma’s the other night.

It was time to decide, though there really was no decision to be made. I could patronize my son and shake him from the phone line like a dog shaking off water, returning to my austere goals exercise. Or I could thank him, question him about his discovery, as if he were among the most important people in my life (he is), and thank him for thinking of me, and caring to call and share such a beautiful thing. I don’t always choose correctly, but on this day, I did. Moreover, I left the house–trading the warmth of my office for the biting Nebraska cold–to snap some beautiful pictures, two of which accompany this article.

For many years, I’ve had an attractive picture hanging in my office. It features a full moon at dusk, hanging high above the water, shining down on a lonely sailboat. The somewhat trite caption reads, “Success, It’s a Journey, Not a Destination.” As I endeavor to plan for the “big” things, Father God, please let me remember the most important moments in life are the “little things.” There’s More. More here, and more there.

Mark L. read this post about the Andrew Peterson/Pierce Pettis song “More” and responded with a link to a creative, thoughtful post he made in his own personal blog. It was posted around the time I received the tree phone call from my son. With his permission I’ve reprinted it here in The Rabbit Room. As Evie Coates suggests in her White Wolf on Wyoming Avenue article, God provides serendipitous links of happenstance in our respective lives that provide us with exactly what we need at a given point in time, be it a picture of frost on the trees, the words of a patron of The Rabbit Room, or maybe both. Sometimes they mesh. I began this article without any knowledge that these random tapestries of life would somehow be stitched together in this piece of writing. Somehow, they have. Mark L. pulled passages from the song “More,” and linked them with quotes taken from a variety of pop culture icons and regular folks.

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“Why do I have three Super Bowl rings and still think there is something greater out there for me? A lot of people would say, ‘This is what it is. I reached my goal, my dream …’ Me, I think, God, it’s got to be more than this. I mean, this isn’t … what it’s all cracked up to be.” – Tom Brady on 60 Minutes

 

This is not the end here at this grave
This is just a hole that someone made
Every hole was made to fill
And every heart can feel it still–
Our nature hates a vacuum

“It felt big. It felt lonely and big. You’re in a hotel and you’re like, okay well, I’m sitting in this big suite with an Oscar, and I still don’t have a life. What is wrong with me?” – Nicole Kidman reflecting on the night she won her 2003 Best Actress Oscar

This is not the hardest part of all
This is just the seed that has to fall
All our lives we till the ground
Until we lay our sorrows down
And watch the sky for rain

“I try to fill the emptiness deep inside me with Cheetos, but I am still depressed. Only now my fingers are stained orange. I am blue. And I am orange.” – Karen Salmansohn, Author

There is more
More than all this pain
More than all the falling down
And the getting up again
There is more
More than we can see
From our tiny vantage point
In this vast eternity

“I thought to myself, ‘Is that it?'” – Trot Nixon after winning the 2004 World Series

A thing resounds when it rings true
Ringing all the bells inside of you
Like a golden sky on a summer eve
Your heart is tugging at your sleeve
And you cannot say why
There must be more

“I am seriously hurting over a recent breakup … I feel empty. I feel sad, and angry. I’m not feeling happy whatsoever. My life is at a very positive point right now. Things are going well for me. But I don’t want to continue to succeed alone. I can’t even think of my interests at this point to even keep me busy, I feel somewhat desperate … any advice?” – Brighteyezinva, Yahoo! Answers post

There is more
More than we can stand
Standing in the glory
Of a love that never ends
There is more
More than we can guess
More and more, forever more
And not a second less

“I tried everything. Parties, women, buying expensive jewelry and gadgets, and nothing helped. There was no peace. I had everything the world has to offer, but no peace, no joy, just emptiness inside.” – Deion “Prime Time” Sanders

There is more than what the naked eye can see
Clothing all our days with mystery
Watching over everything
Wilder than our wildest dreams
Could ever dream to be
There is more…

(Words in Italics are lyrics to the song “More” by Andrew Peterson and Pierce Pettis)


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