Our culture has made everything disposable. Our phones are upgraded every two years. Computers and operating systems are obsolete after ten years. Fast food is junk, no nutrients, flavor or crunch; but it's fast and easy. Social media has mitigated our existence and relevance to the last "Like" of our last post.
We move from relationship to relationship (friendship) abandoning people like technology. A friend will last for a time, or until one of us hurts the other. We make statements like, "This is who I am", "Take me or leave me", but mostly we leave one another until the next shiny friendship comes along. If things get uncomfortable we move on without considering "we" may be the problem. "We" may need to change or mature. "We" need to apologize.
I found a conversation between Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins very interesting. Anthony Hopkins talks to Brad Pitt about Movies, Mortality, and Mistakes is an interview between two actors, two men, on life. Brad comments on mistakes made in our lives. He is talking about his own, but we have all made mistakes. They make us who we are, we learn from them, develop some wisdom and move on. Hopkins suggests fate is like a great beast or elephant on which we ride from place to place. We do the best we can to hold on, but life takes us places we couldn't foresee.
Our culture focuses on the failures, but our response to the mistakes is where we shine. Pitt points out the truly "invigorating" or "interesting" part is what happens after. Where we go or who we become is far superior to the mistake. It's in embracing the reality of failure and learning in wisdom that makes life beautiful. It gives our friendships (relationships) value. Wisdom through our mistakes makes our lives rich with purpose and meaning. It's like dark rich soil we can grow from. It's rich soil like this that strong, life-long friendships develop in.
We like life in black and white. We want easy, cheap, fast, and trendy. We want to take photos of it on our best days to appear superior or worthy of 'Likes'. We want to place it in four sentences over an artistic picture and hope for a viral meme. We are husks of humanity sitting on a virtual mantle. Our souls rotting inside.
I thought of Jesus standing on a hill in Jerusalem looking over the crowds that followed him. He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matt 9:36).
HOPKINS: "Do you cry often? You'll find as you get older, that you just want to weep."
HOPKINS: "Yes. It's not even about grief. It's about the glory of life."
PITT: ". . . now I find myself, at this latter stage, much more moved—moved by my kids, moved by friends, moved by the news. Just moved. I think it’s a good sign. I don’t know where it’s going, but I think it’s a good sign."
I watch my daughter play and I'm hit by the mortality of time. I become overwhelmed many times. She's my heart running around outside my body. I'm sure I've heard that somewhere before, but it feels real. The best of me, the best I can give, grew legs and runs carelessly, giggling, falling, climbing, grunting and growling. She smiles and sings "da-eeee". My wife, my life, my commitment, my partner and best friend created this with me.
The most meaningful friendship of my life, is and will always be, my wife. Together we have created life, we have created family. We are building in rich soil everyday. It's not easy. It's tiring, frustrating, there are tears, and many apologies. We are turning the soil enriching one another's souls. This is love, as Jesus taught love. His example of love was messy, hard, and painful; but it broke through death and bore fruit.
HOPKINS: “It’s all a dream. What a struggle it all is. It’s all an illusion, but it’s the glory of life, the sheer glory of looking for it in everything.” And I’ve become aware of that now, more than ever. It’s in there. It’s in my cat, it’s in my dog, it’s in you. How could it be otherwise? I watch my cat jumping to a little pinch on the fireplace. Now, he can’t write a book, he doesn’t know anything about philosophy or mathematics. But how the hell does he do that? That is totally awe-inspiring.
PITT: "What I hear you saying is that as we get older, we get out of our minds, and we’re able to witness the beauty and the wonder that we’re surrounded by in every minute detail. We miss that when we’re young."
HOPKINS: "We’re too busy."
PITT: "With our own hubris."
The mortality of things is that we are only here for a moment, but we're not disposable. The secret to life is finding value in the 'right now' while hoping for the 'not yet.' We can know God today, see Him in everything and everyone. We can love in the pain of today because we have the hope of tomorrow. Death has no hold on our lives.
We are no longer disposable.
May you see the beauty of every moment
May you revel in your mortality
May you love as though you live forever
May you have rich soil
May you bear much fruit in that soil
May your mistakes enrich the soil that produces much fruit
May you forgive yourself and others
In His service and yours,