Only One Life
Over the weekend I was watching a series of Q&A interviews from Nerd HQ and one of the participants was one of my favorite actors, Tom Hiddleston. During the session, he referenced this quote and it really resonated with me: as a Husband, a Daddy, a Minister, and as a participant in this grand adventure we call Life.
One of the things that has always been True for me is the continuing realization that we have a very finite time to be here with one another. I think being a parent drives that realization home all-the-more as I see my young boys growing literally before my eyes some days. Time goes by quickly - oft times too quickly - and too often days and weeks can go by before we realize we haven't taken a moment to stop and consider what we're filling our time doing.
Unless you believe in reincarnation, we really do have one shot at this thing we call Life. People that seem to embrace Life in a profound, meaningful and purpose-filled way as Tom does seem to have an understanding of this in a way that drives them, motivates them, and inspires them.
Are we leading lives of purpose and meaning that honor this truth, or are we just "going through the motions?"
Are we involved in true vocations, or are we just "going to work?"
Are we embracing each day as a new opportunity to make a difference to someone, or are we just trudging through?
Tom seems to have realized somewhere along his Journey that Life, for all its foibles, struggles and heartache, is more than worth the living; for in the grand arc of a lifetime there is far more opportunity for happiness, for celebration, for reaching out to others and connecting in order to make one another's lives better than there is for sorrow.
Especially for those of us that live lives of such enormous privilege and blessing compared to so many around the world whose struggles and pains are truly horrifying...how can we not realize that we have only one opportunity to make our mark on the world, on a life, and for the betterment of others?
It need not be doing things on a grand scale - indeed, the majority of us don't have the means or resources to do so. Yet a hug, a note, a phone call, a simple random act of kindness - these are things that can genuinely make a profound difference in the life of someone that is feeling alone, alienated, cut off, betrayed, afraid...
Remember when it did for you?
Jesus said that unless someone is "born again" we cannot see the Kingdom Of God. There's many interpretations of what exactly he meant by that, but for what its worth here's mine:
Unless we have a new realization of this primary fact - unless we are born again into the knowledge that we have one life in which to be agents of Joy, Compassion, Grace, Forgiveness, Empathy and Service - we will never see that this is what the world and we in it are supposed to be for one another in the first place.
That second life Tom spoke of is being born again into the Fullness of Life, and then getting about the business of Living.
Tom, through the sharing of his artistic and philanthropic gifts has realized this...
May we do the same.