I continue to muse about the concepts of treasures in heaven as life experiences, and these thoughts are creating great joy within me. I hope to share some of my ideas in hopes that they create joy for you too.
Life is about living, yet I ponder how many of us truly live. In our fast paced society, it is easy to bounce from one experience to the next, and when we do this, it is difficult to process our experiences. If we do not process our experiences, we do not fully suck the nectar out of life.
While thinking on this, I thought of one of the best scenes Hollywood ever gave us. It comes from the movie Parenthood. Steve Martin’s character and his wife are arguing about hardships in parenting. The grandmother walks into the room, seemingly oblivious of the conversation, and announces that her husband took her on a roller coaster ride when she was 19. Steve Martin just stares at her, and says, “nice story.” She continues by talking about how amazing the ride was. She talks about how it made her feel so “frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together.” She then talks about how some people do not like it, and they stick to the merry-go-round, which just goes in circles. She closes with, “I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.”
Of course, she was using the story as an analogy for life. We can keep ourselves safe and secure by staying on the merry-go-round where things are predictable. However, to really live, we must take on of the complexities of the roller coaster ride. We need to live the full experience of the ups and downs, the scary and exciting.
Jesus is a good example of one who embraces this way of thinking. Implicit in his story is a life of friendship and camaraderie. In addition, he was all powerful, and yet let people imprison him, humiliate him, and kill him. When he was offered wine as a way of numbing his pain, he rejected it. He experienced the totality of his life, the good and the bad. He lived life to the fullest, and he invites us to do the same.
Spend some time with the Holy Spirit pondering your life. How are you living your life? Are you on the most intense of roller coasters, the merry-go-round, or something in between these two extremes? Do you feel like you are getting the most out of your life? Is it time to change to a different ride? Have you experienced so much of the bad, that you have shut yourself down to avoid the pain, and has that cost you the enjoyment of the good? Spend some time praying with the Holy Spirit about where you can tweak and fine-tune your life so as to store up more treasures from your life experiences. Take theses treasures to prayer, and see how these experiences enhance your spiritual journey.
Ms. Debra D. Weldon, O.P., JD, MTS