It's funny the memories that a photograph can bring back. Going to Dad's place for dinner I always look back at old photos of myself, usually with disgust, but tonight I saw this photo that is about four years old. I remember thinking at the time how bad I looked in it. I've always hated the way I looked, but tonight I could only see how young and fresh I was. Awkward looking, but not the hideous Quasimodo I once thought I was. And for this fleeting second I realised how amazing life is and how we never appreciate it at the time but we are all such uniquely beautiful people. We look a certain way for a certain time and when that goes we'll never get it back.
The people I was with in the photo are also now just memories, I mean we're still friends, we still keep in contact once in a while, and we are still the same people but our lives have change and our relationships have too and we'll never have the friendship back that we had for that fleeting season in our lives... or maybe we will who knows. I guess what I've realised is that things change all the time. Our lives are full of amazing moments; laughter and hurt, comfort and anxiety. Our perception of life at the time though is always distorted by temporary emotions. Sometimes we want to stay in the moment forever because it feels so incredible or sometimes we just want to get out of it as quick as we can because the pain feels unbearable. But too often life can be like that flower that when you were in primary school gave that definitive answer as to whether "she loves me or loves me not". We drop seasons of our existence to the floor like the petals of a daisy. We pick apart something that as a whole was so beautiful in the quest to discover something that at the time seemed so important but looking back now was of little or no significance.
God has promised us abundant life. Not abundant blessing or a comfortable ride. Life is all about the ups and downs, the beauty and the pain. I can't help but notice that the grass always seems greener on the other side... until you really sit down and talk to the person you're jealous of. There are this myriad of experiences you are about to face and your life is going to last such a long time. Never let a fleeting moment of agony or ecstasy stop you from living. It's the hard times that make the good ones so amazing.
In the end when all is done and dusted when I'm cruising through the clouds with my heaven buddies I get feeling that I won't be disappointed with what was handed to me because I will have gotten exactly what was always promised, a unique and amazing experience. Life in abundance. Thinking about it now almost makes my heart cave in. I'm never going to know what it would have been like to walk in another persons shoes but I know what I'll be saying when I've worn through mine... "I wouldn't have had it any other way."