I have been wanting to comment since Tuesday about the story of our lives. Previously, I said our lives are not measured by any one moment but by our everyday character. A mistake can only be judged by our attempt (of lack thereof) to remedy it. Every moment has meaning only in it’s context. So every moment, though not the sum of who we are, is a punctuation of what came before, emphasizing or denying our former deeds. We are always in the process of infusing our lives with meaning, however dull or daring that meaning may be. But let me add…
There is a sense where a moment–a deed, a thought, a word–means everything. Morally speaking, one mistake can render us worthy of eternal damnation. Relationally speaing, an affair could be grounds for divorce. Competitively speaking, if you don’t finish the race it doesn’t matter how many laps you’ve run.
When I was in college, I had a real sense of the gravity of each class. When things got hard I knew I could not give up. Were I to give up in that one class I would have disqualified myself for the degree that was my goal. Each completed class validated the ones before.
I understand that life is a journey and destinations are overrated. But mile markers are important and each one is a reminder of how far I’ve come. I have not travelled thus far so that I could run out of gas in the desert and wait to die. I will not give up. I will finish this race. My life will count.
The only failure is to give up.