The smallest things can eat up your mind as soon as they go missing. A key, a book, a ring, a letter. All of a sudden we’ll forget everything else and go searching for that one offending item, turning the world upside down until the wayward object is found.
It’s not so easy when you lose a someone instead of a something. Someone you now know you’ve spoken your last words to and won’t be seeing again.
The missing things and missing pieces can eat us alive if we let them. Or we can realize the value of all we have left and the people we’re still surrounded by. It’s true you never know what you’ve got till it’s gone; absence makes the heart grow fonder because it rips a piece from your heart and promises to replace it later with stitches of love. The things and people that go missing remind us how fragile life is, and how quickly it can all change. It’s easy to live in fear, knowing this. Fear that sucks the joy and gratitude and every good thing from life.
“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.” -Shakespeare
We’re not made to fear. We’re made to live and love with courage, to thank God for what He’s given rather than fear what He can take away. Sometimes it takes a stab of sorrow to remind us that we can still feel, that we’re not numb and impenetrable as a medieval fortress. That life gets to us, and it matters.
There’s a verse in Switchfoot’s song Awakening: “I want to live like I know what I’m leaving.” To me this speaks about the goodness of life, the value of recognizing that goodness while we’ve got it, and the knowledge that one day we’ll be moving on.