The wind softly caresses her face as she sits quietly and alone in a park. The scene surrounding her changes in fits and starts as time passes. Woven through this lively tapestry are invitations of adventure made by nameless visages. In each instance she merely waves her hand, dismissing each pursuer with the closing of her eyes and the shake of her head; the time just isn’t right. Her life slowly fades, as does the scene itself. Yet, the youthful expectation remains in her eyes until the end, though it’s now become tainted with jadedness.
You’ve probably heard the expression, “Don’t let life pass you by.” With the uprising of such slogans as YOLO and Carpe Diem (not new, just refurbished), it seems as though letting life pass us by is the least of our worries.
But this just isn’t the case.
If we step back and survey our lives, they are replete with indecision leading to just that: life passing us by. Specifically, I want to point out marriage. By and large, people are waiting longer to get married; if they end up getting married at all. This is not just waiting to find Mr. or Mrs. Perfect, mind you, though that is often the case. Even after finding “the one,” the choice is often to wait because of school, career, fear of commitment, or whatever other reason. Why?
I think it’s because we have created a society that believes that there is a perfect moment for everything. How? Because we capture these “perfect” moments and enshrine them on Facebook or Instagram or whatever other “temple” that has been erected to house the implements we use to worship the god of self-actualization. In other words, we unintentionally set the bar higher with every “like” of someone else’s perfect moment.
“Why not me?” we ask. “Why can’t I have that guy/girl wrapping his/her arms around me? Doesn’t she/he look happy? That’s what I want.” This thinking lends itself to the willingness to wait until such a moment materializes. Then another. Until I have enough to fill a scrapbook; or a profile. “Then I’ll get married,” I’ll say. The problem is that reality has a funny way of regressing to the mean. By that, I am suggesting that life, as beautiful as it can be, isn’t just a string of perfect moments.
It’s messy. It’s hard. It’s life.
Yet, by participating in our sacred social liturgy I have trained myself to expect the perfect moment; I yearn for it without even knowing it. It hovers in the back of my mind like the spectre of perfect moments past. It calls to me, haunting my soul with the desire to be loved in a way that I think others have found.
But have they?
Look for Chris, Steve, and Andy this week on the Apologetics Canada Podcast as they discuss this phenomenon further. Find it here.