It had been one of those days…a hurtful, hard, exhausting day. The kind adulthood seems to pound you with over and over. Your body becomes tired, not sleepy, but so very tired. All you want is to curl up, hide under a blanket, and for awhile, pray that no one can find you.
The room was dark, everyone was going to bed, and the prayers started. Not long after, a few tears. And without thought or inclination of where the words came from, they slipped out. “I just want to go home,” I whispered.
My heart hurt as my own words penetrated. I was home…lying in my bed, my family tucked away. But I knew…I knew what the words meant. I wanted to go to my forever home. This life had been too hard that day, and I couldn’t help but yearn for the home I’ll go to once this life is over.
The thought was painful. It hurt because it came to me unawares, unplanned and utterly honest. It was the first time I’d truly yearned for the worries of this life to hurry away so I could just get on with getting on.
I can’t remember the day or the year this happened for the first time. I know it was many years ago, and once that door was unlocked, I’ve yearned for my forever home often. It’s not the kind of yearn that makes you reckless and impatient…but the kind of yearn that knows I’ve got more to do in this life before that day will come.
What about life keeps us yearning for more, for different, for better? Perhaps it’s just the reality of how hard life can be. Or maybe we’re just fickle creatures who are never satisfied.
I just read a wonderful, insightful book about the meaning of your life (not the meaning of life in general) by a man named Harold Kushner called, “When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough”. This book, written by a rabbi, is so approachable and easy to understand. Never does the author judge or make you feel unworthy. Actually, he does just the opposite by simply explaining that the true meaning of your life is not about success but loving and being loved. It’s about savoring life – other people, food, nature, etc.
The author says that people are their happiest when they’re kind, helpful and reliable. When they are doing for others instead of only thinking of themselves.
I think we all know that deep down. We know we should be loving others more, that being kind should be second nature, but it’s the daily battle of doing it. The daily battle of focusing enough to love and be kind. We all lose focus. Life can make everything blurry really fast.
This year, I’ll try to savor more, to focus on kindness. I cannot control the people or situations around me, but I can choose each day to pick a happy thought over bitterness. Every morning on the way to work, I pray…”Lawd…please, Lord, help me to be kind to the children today. Kind and patient.” (Funny how most days I’m given opportunities where I have to choose to pick kindness over being snappy. Strange how that works.) I’ll keep praying that prayer, I’ll keep on keeping on no matter life’s circumstances. I’ll keep on until that day I finally get to go home.