Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Book Thief...and other endings

It has been an emotional week for me. As I've pondered the passing of a friend and as I've finished reading a book written with such weighty brilliance that it's been credited by many as "changing their lives", I find myself quick to cry and slow to...well, anything else. In other words, everything else has slowed down to a speed more prone to contemplation and appreciation.

That, by the way, is not the speed that our world is spinning at right now. Our RPM is currently set at FRANTIC. Cunningly so by the author of all unhappiness, Mr. Devil. Our sobriety is dependant on being 'present in the moment', so in order for him to maintain our dis-ease, we must not be allowed enough time to even know the moment existed in the first place, until that is, the consequences of the moment are seated insistantly at our feet.

Breathe in. Wait. Breathe out. Listen for the lilt in someone's laugh, look for the playful in someone's eye.
Take the time to say no. Take the time to let someone else adjust..learn..merge.

When I speak of sobriety, it's almost impossible to do so without thinking strong drink as well. But in The Book of Mormon, sobriety is admonished with no referral at all to wine. According to Elder James J. Hamula "Being sober means being earnest and serious in assessing your circumstances, and careful and circumspect in weighing the consequences of your actions. Soberness therefore yields good judgment, as well as measured conduct."

But enough about that.

So, as I put down the 560 pages of Markus Zusak's "The Book Thief" I have to ask myself; how can Mr. Zusak live with himself? Knowing a creation of such magnitude came out of himself? Wow. Good job Markus. Stay with us.

Other endings in my life have happened or are about to happen in the form of serving in God's kingdom. Church callings are changing hands. This happens almost every week so why do the most recent ones seem to have affected my heart strings this week in particular? Probably because I have witnessed Andy and Jim and Randy all give their hearts in their service. Their families as well have sacrificed. How do you put it down then, and move on? How do you redirect dedication? By definition you shouldn't be able to. By experience, it's known to be hard, as Christopher and Evan will discover in two years when they return home from their missions abroad.

I know that I too, will soon be released. Dismissed. I'm lost trying to figure out how that's going to work. They (the sisters) are in my heart, so it can't, can it? But somehow it will have to and it will be, in it's own way, glorious. Because for me, I can't help thinking that I have let the cancer and the calling become entangled in one. I hope to find out that upon my release, I can finally let go and put the disease behind me and be done with it. (well...the moving plan didn't work...I've got to try something!)

Now on to Howard and death. Same problem but bigger question mark. How is that going to work? He's in our hearts, but our opportunity to serve him and learn from him, at least here on earth, have now passed.

We may be uncertain as we wonder in callings as in relationships "could I have done more?" but today in church, I was overcome with such an overwhelming feeling of "well done, though good and faithful servant" that I think it's safe to just smile and let that one go. I know that I loved all the sisters in my ward and that I loved Howard as well, so what more could I have done?

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