Engraved in gold lettering across my high school yearbook are the words "Carpe Diem." We, as high school graduates, were energized to go out into the big world that awaited us and think for ourselves, be individuals, and live an extraordinary life.
Many of us fell into the traditional step of what came next....college. Then love...then marriage...then a job to support the baby in the baby carriage...then the house in the suburbs...while working harder and harder to keep it all together.
And then one day, for many, life screeches to a halt and you find yourself in despair crying out "Why?"
Yesterday I learned of a high school friend who became a widow at the age of 31 and another dear friend who lost the twins she was carrying; after many years of heartache trying. Others are struggling to hold their marriages together or pay this month's rent.
I can't help but stop and in my own pleading for them ask, "Why?"
Last night I sat at a backyard BBQ where a wandering musician played guitar for us. I looked around at the people who were sharing this experience with me and knew that this is truly what life is about---relationships.
I may not be rich or have the largest house or know where money is going to come from. I may go through loss that I fear will leave me stuck in despair. I may repeatedly cry out for myself or others, "Why?"
Every day though, I am amazed just how many of us share parallel situations on our journeys. When we allow ourselves to be open and share we realize that we are not alone. And that, I believe, is the greatest gift.
There is a collection of friends who have exemplified Romans 12:15 for me and I strive to do the same. I will rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Relationships. My life is rich and extraordinary because of that.