Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Life is not a gift, It's a Loan

Jacob and I getting ready to go outside and enjoy a bonfire

  I just returned from Texas where I had a wonderful visit with my wonderful boyfriend, and got a little more insight about how I might like for my future to play out. I love being with my boyfriend, and I miss him so much when he's not around. I'm so thankful that he's shared himself and his world with me! =) I want so much to be a part of it.

  I also spent some quality time with my friends Merris and Chelsea during my visit. I've missed those girls a whole lot! I'm so happy I got to spend some time with them. I miss the days when they were apart of my every day life and we were always going to the same parties and events, or just having each other over all the time! I hope things eventually get back to the way they were, at least to a degree.

  There were a LOT of friends and acquaintances that I didn't get to see, and to them I want to say I'm sorry! I really wanted to see all of you, but I only had 9 days with my boyfriend, and spending time with him was the official reason that I visited Texas. Besides that, whenever I visit I just get caught up in a whirlwind of things to do, and it gets a little hard to sit and plan things out. I'm thinking of all of you, I promise! As soon as I'm in town for longer than I was this time around, I'm going to do my best to see you all.

  Right now, I really want to give a few thoughts about life; or death. I'm not sure which way to look at it right now, although because the two go hand in hand I'm not sure there should be much of a separation. I have a lot to say about life and death. I can never quite peg what it is that I want to get across or what my opinions on the matter really are. In fact, I'm not sure that my thoughts about life and death really even matter (except in a philosophical way; it is always important to think), since death will occur no matter what. I only know that every once in awhile when something tragic and unexpected happens, these thoughts rise to the surface and I am left to ponder them and/or deal with them. I want to release them, and my blog seems to be the appropriate place to do this.
  On January 3rd, 2010, very early in the morning, a girl named Shelby in Beaumont, Texas was on her way home from the beach with her friends when they were rear-ended by a drunk driver at a stop light. Her friends survived with injuries. Shelby, however, was ejected from the car and died shortly after at the local hospital. She was 16 years old.

  Jacob knew Shelby; they had been friends for a little over a year. After receiving the news of her death, he seemed brave about it for a little while; however, there were times when I would look at him and his eyes would be glistening. I hugged him and kissed him and did my best to comfort him, but I had trouble grasping how to comfort someone whose friend no longer existed on earth.

  I thought a lot about the accident that day. I thought a lot about life, and the fragility of the human body. I came to the conclusion that I usually do after a tragedy: Life is a gift, and we should treat it as such. But after pondering this for a little while, I decided to re-think that statement. Aren't gifts supposed to be permanent? A gift is not a gift if it could be taken away at any moment because someone decides to do something reckless, or because your body becomes ill, or because someone just wants to see you dead. When I realized this, I realized that life is not a gift, but a loan. It sounds ridiculous, and contrary to everything I've ever heard, but what other conclusion can a person come to when life can be stripped from you more easily than it was given to you? I told Jacob a little bit about this. I talked about how everyone just thinks they have a right to live, and no one thinks anything bad will happen to them. "They think life is theirs," I said. "But it's not. It can all end just like that."

  I don't know what it means to say that life is a loan, except that we have to pay it back. I believe that life is from God, and if you believe this too, the 'loan theory' might make sense. God gives us life on earth, and we are supposed to use our lives to pay it back to him. This isn't to say that we can ever rid ourselves of debt to the one who gave us everything to save our souls (Jesus' sacrifice WAS a gift); however, I think that our earthly, temporary lives are loans in the sense that we are meant to make the most of them and not let them go to waste.

  These thoughts always tend to overwhelm me when a young person dies, because it hits so close to home. I can't help but think, "Geez. She thought she had her whole life ahead of her just like I do. She had dreams and plans just like I do. And now, she'll never plan or dream or have the (almost arrogant) confidence of youth again just because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. That could have been me." 

  I'm praying for Shelby's family right now, and I'm asking anyone who reads this to do the same. I will also be praying for myself, and for all of you to make the most of what we have. Life is worth living, so let's live it the way we ought to until for some reason it's taken from us. Because people, none of us are invincible.