Thursday, November 24, 2005


525,600 Minutes

On the way back from Durham we stopped in Asheville to see Rent, the movie adaptation of the very successful Broadway musical. I knew that it was a deeply written play about the inter-relationships of a group of people in Bohemian New York but I was in no way prepared for the intensity of the work. The driving theme was about the precious nature of life and how to measure the time you have and make the most of it. Again, it seems to me, that God is sending me the same message over and over again.

How do you measure a year? When you look back at the last twelve months? By what standard do you count the days you have spent? Do you measure it in laughter or love lost? In tears or fears or moments of pure bliss? There were times during the show when I felt hot tears on my cheeks and felt the love and the loss that was being portrayed so deeply it was as if I was part of the drama, and not just an observer of a motion picture.

The holidays always do this too me. Since I was a child I have always spent part of the holidays looking back to figure out what I was supposed to learn. What is it that you can learn from your heart melting into tears? What is it that can be gained by watching hundreds of young adults on the side of a mountain on a clear mountain night speak of things holy that God has done in their lives? What lesson from closing of a door you thought would always be open and from the opening of another quite unexpectedly? What great teaching lies in holding hands with a friend and just sitting in silence? What clear message from the voices of those crying in the wilderness? What have the last 525,600 minutes taught me?

By the end of the year I think I’ll publish a blog on the things I’ve learned this year. Right now a lesson I’m learning from Jesus and his relationships with those closest to him. It is worth the risk of being hurt to let people get close enough to you to see your flaws (not that Jesus was flawed…you know what I mean…). Jesus let people get close even though He knew that in the context of those relationships He would be betrayed and denied by those who claimed to love Him most. That is because He knew what we need to know, that real significance only comes from within the context of real relationships. I have been guilty of keeping people at a safe distance, not letting them get real close. Only in the past year have I begun letting my guard down and letting more and more people get closer and closer. It has been hard, but if I am going to make the most of the next 525,600 minutes it is essential. In the end, it won’t matter what kind of car I drive or how big the house I live in is, what will matter is who I have been in relationship with and how I have loved. The world changes one relationship at a time. Let’s change the world.

I remain:

Lost in Grace,

Marty

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