This morning, halfway between wakefulness and sleeping, I remembered a book in my parents’ home that used to fascinate me for hours.
It was a Readers’ Digest anatomy book that had three-dimensional diagrams of organs, joints and body parts made up of images on transparent pages. One could see the shape of the heart, and as you turned the pages, each layer would unfold. I suppose it was an old-fashioned way of doing 3D-printing.
I thought about this being a little bit like a person’s life. Recently I met with a group of people and each one shared some of their journey of life. One only has a glimpse at a person’s life, but we don’t see the layers of the many years of joy and challenges that made up the three-dimensional living, breathing precious person.
Today, I was thinking about the pages where it seemed like there was nothing going on in my life. Just a mere blob in the middle of a transparent page. Thinking back, I now realise that those pages helped to build depth and tenacity into my current me. Whilst no longer evident outwardly, these pages were sometimes the most significant times and seasons of my life. Formational in building character. Often they were accompanied by tears, frustration, and hopelessness at having no evidence that any part of my life counted to anyone… never mind myself. (Of course this was not the reality).
Now I am in a season, which just seems to have a lot of detail going on at the same time. I know the time is coming to turn the page. Some of these things will have been completed, some aspects will shrink to a smaller portion, or even disappear completely from my future life. They will not be gone, that will just be part of the shaping of how my life looks in the next season.
Now, I’m just figuring out how to stay at peace with the current busy page. Learning how to stay present in this day at this time, working out how to look back on hard times, and being grateful for how they have shaped or positioned me for today. How do I streamline wisely? Having no fear of what the next layer is going to look like, I now see this is partly choice and partly life happening. I’m not quite there yet, but getting ready for turning up a clearer defined level.
I think we are all made to bear much fruit which will depend on how we handle the pruning, the cutting back, cutting out, slowing down or even erasing. It may look like we are playing a small, insignificant part but a 3D image of a beautiful fruit cake can end with the smallest, sweetest part being decorative fruit.
I hope my life will one day end up with a last page looking like a very simple heart shaped dot…a cherry on top.
The next generation can then decide if they want to take anything out to add to their book of life.