Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Guest Post: "Life is Too Short"

When I was growing up, (admittedly, that process may not be complete yet), my father used to talk about having “diarrhea of the mouth”. Usually it was in reference to one of his three children but the older we get, I’m more convinced it applies to him equally – you just can’t tell him that. This past Father’s Day we spent over an hour on the phone, which, for us, broke a record. I’m not generally a phone-talker and because he and I are at completely opposite ends of the political spectrum, sometimes I’m not even a dad-talker. This call was no exception but at least we managed to end it on a positive note. Over the years, our family gatherings have consisted more of eggshells than warm-fuzzies. I ask myself… is this really how my family is meant to spend what time it has left? At each other’s throats talking (nee “yelling”) about things that haven’t changed since the dawn of time.

Life is too short for angst.

About once a year I get “friended” on Facebook by a person who is a “used to be” in my repertoire of friends. She and I had a bit of a falling out ten or so years ago (okay, it was a pretty major falling out) and I decided that we would both lead much happier lives apart… or at least I would. I suppose I was wrong in speaking for her because the request still keeps coming, almost like clockwork, and I ask myself… am I holding a grudge? Truly doing what is best for me, and in turn, her? Just not interested, realizing that there must not have been much there to begin with? I just don’t know but it bugs me enough to think about accepting the request when I see it come through.

Life is too short for being unforgiving.

On July 31st, I received an email from one of my co-professors. “Just wanted you to know”, it said. “The woman who was killed in the early morning accident on I-77 yesterday was Stephanie’s daughter.” Stephanie taught with us. I spent the next five minutes at my desk in a bit of shock, my mind racing between the sadness of someone dying so young, (especially when, as of the time this is being written, the facts and cause of the accident are a bit murky and suspicious), and guilt that the day before I’d been celebrating my birthday by feeding the giraffes and goats at Riverbanks Zoo (always a fun pastime of mine) and touring our state house in Columbia. I wondered what Stephanie’s last words to her daughter were and I hoped that the last time they’d seen each other, they’d managed to have as much fun as I’d had the day before.

Life is too short to waste time.

James 4:14 tells us that we do not know what tomorrow will bring. Our life is a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. While we are everything to God, our lives are amazingly short… sometimes too short. We have so little time to LIVE and yet we spend so much of our time trying NOT to by filling our seconds, minutes and days with things that won’t matter to us in two weeks, much less two years. I won’t say that every phone call with my dad will end on a positive note but I can say that I’m more likely to call on other non-holiday occasions just for the chance to give it a try. I won’t say that I will or that I won’t open myself to the potential from hurt from a former friend again, but it’s possible when I remember that hurt means we’re living every bit as happiness. And who knows if I’ll spend every day telling the people I love that I love them, and living in harmony and happiness with them… but I’ll try to when I remember the words of James because life is indeed just too short.

Heather Eddy is the Assistant Director of Christian Education here at Sardis. When she is not working with the Sardis children’s programs or assisting the Fellowship Committee, she spends time teaching Anatomy and Physiology to pre-Nursing college students and CPR to anyone who cares to know it, traveling around the country with her roommate and best friend Michelle, and attempting to train her cats.

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