We’re a strange old pair, me and eternity.

It’s hard to live a life filled with wonder. I get glimpses of it when we play with kids, when summer nights stretch out hot and humid in front of us, at Christmas, when I eat something that tastes amazing, when something I have been looking forward to finally happens. But most of my life isn’t like that. I get caught up in my regular routine: getting to work, cracking open a Diet Coke, processing books, going home, making dinner, cleaning the house. It’s hard to find a day of rest in the midst of all that has to be done at work and at home, and it can be hard to remember to be excited about life in the middle of summer when you’d rather be relaxing by the pool.

When I think about people in my life who have taught me about wonder, I think about my dad. It’s a well-documented fact that he was the one who was most excited on Christmas morning, but he lived like that, too, I think. He would take us out of school to go shopping for Mom’s birthday, or to the State Fair, or just to go with him to school (when he was in school after some health problems). I think he was trying to teach us about taking time for what’s important. He certainly always tried to emphasize that there were things he wanted for us much more than good grades, no matter how proud he was of our good grades (and he was very proud of them).

When it came to faith, what I got from my dad was a sense of gratitude that he was allowed to participate at all. I am sure that shaped the way that I think about faith – I am a person who likes to have answers, but when it comes to my faith, I’d rather not try to spell out each theological point. I am much more comfortable with embracing the mystery, being thankful that we can be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves.

When my dad was sick, one of the things he said was that some people see the glass as half full, some see it as half empty, but, as for him, his cup runneth over. I would like, someday, to embrace life like he did, rather than just living.

Waterdeep is a band I always associate with my dad. I have no idea if he ever heard their music at all, but I think he would have liked them, their jangly sound and their take on life. I think he and Don Chaffer could have been friends, actually, and I think he would have thought their music was pretty great. Their new song, “Good Good End,” makes me think of my dad: “I’m amazed by life, and it’s amazed by me / We’re a strange old pair, me and eternity,” is not something he would have said, but I think he would have agreed with the sentiment. What a blessing that we’re here. What a mystery that life doesn’t stop here. What a miracle that, in the end, Jesus will be waiting for us. I miss my dad, but I am thankful he has found his good good end.

You can leave right now
You can ring a bell
You can tell ’em you think I ain’t doin’ too well
But when I stood like you
I eventually fell
So you can leave right now
Go on and ring your bell

I’m amazed by life
And it’s amazed by me
We’re a strange old pair, me and eternity
It don’t make good sense
It ain’t easy to see
But I’m amazed by life
And it’s amazed by me

It’s a long hard road
With a good, good end
And if I keep on walking on past the crooked bend
I will meet my Maker
I will meet my Friend
It’s a long hard road
With a good, good end

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5 Comments

  1. _steve

    Sad and beautiful all at once. Great entry, Kari.

    Posted 7/13/2007 at | Permalink
  2. CJ

    KB, I’m tearing up. Your dad must have been a beautiful role model. I want to live in such a way that someone could say something so amazing about me after I’m gone.

    Posted 7/13/2007 at | Permalink
  3. Hugs, my dear friend.

    Posted 7/13/2007 at | Permalink
  4. “some people see the glass as half full, some see it as half empty, but, as for him, his cup runneth over”

    I love that.

    Posted 7/13/2007 at | Permalink
  5. Beautiful

    Posted 7/14/2007 at | Permalink

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