Let’s be honest. Not honest but self-protective. Let’s just actually say it.
I don’t know if it’s going to work.
Pick which “it” I mean. Raising my children so that they live peaceably in their own skin. Having kids I can be proud I had a hand in parenting. Looking back at their years of living in my house and knowing I did well by them.
Am I going to do something with my life? Not just pass through. Live. Suck the marrow, blow every speck of gunpowder, make a contribution, leave something worth claiming?
Will it matter that I was here?
We’re afraid and we try to cushion against that fear with comfort. Comfort foods and comfortable habits, routines that protect us from looking at our naked selves. Distractions and entertainments. Not bad in themselves, but when we use them as anesthesia…
There are darker questions, too. My dad was chronically ill for the last twenty-five years of his life…which means it started when he was younger than I am now. What if the mental illness…? Some people live in the “knowledge” that only other people’s children get sick, or get in accidents, or die. They would never say this out loud, but they live that way. I’ve had that illusion shattered, and the pieces never went back together.
“But,” some might ask, “what about your faith? Don’t you trust God?”
I’m giving that question the big smile, the one I set on my face in lieu of ripping tonsils out.
I trust God. I’ve chosen a life that, in some significant and tangible ways, relies on God’s faithfulness or else. Or else we’re not okay. I’m not boasting. I’m just distinguishing between what I trust God to do (and protect against) and the rest.