Today was certainly an interesting day at work. I took measurements at a new listing, took videos and photographs for virtual tours, and then got to go assist with a foreclosure for the home of a deceased individual. There’s definitely variety in what I do.
In regards to the last item, I will tell you that it was a surreal being in the house of someone who is deceased. Anything with monetary value had already been removed from the home, and only a few dishes, some furniture, and quite a few photo albums remained.
Those albums touched my heart the most. These pictures had absolutely no value to me, but would have meant the world to the owner. Some were old beyond belief, and yet without a frame of reference – they were worthless.
And then I saw the news about Robin Williams. I knew him about as well as I knew this homeowner, but still, I felt saddened. I had grown up watching him. My friend Mike and I used to watch his stand-up at the met when I’d spend the night. Every time I pass a cop, I still hear him say, “Eat everything in the ash tray. Eat everything in the ashtray!” And then there was the flagship movie of our English Enrichment 9 class our freshman year – “Dead Poet’s Society.” And of course, if you haven’t watched him on “Inside the Actor’s Studio” … well, you must. His explanation / demonstration of how his mind works is hilarious.
But memories aside, I find myself walking the path of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. Solomon was one of the few kings to enjoy peace during his reign. He enjoyed wealth, power, prestige, and certain had no problem finding a date. Yet he still found himself search for the meaning of life (if you answered either “42” or started whistling Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” consider yourself awesome). Solomon repeats the phrase “Meaningless” quite a few times in this book. However, he’s mentioning it not so much in the “emo” sense, but more in the sense that life is an enigma. Over and over again, he states his search for purpose, yet he finds none.
Going back to James 4, which I referenced yesterday, God states that our lives are a vapor – a relatively brief and in significant even in the terms of eternity. With that in mind, we need to take advantage of every day – but to keep eternity in mind. Our sufferings will seem “light and momentary” (2 Cor 4:17), but then so will our earthly joy.
There are quite a few well-written epitaphs for Robin Williams and many allude to the depression he suffered. Certainly if someone who was well-known, made countless people laugh, and is immortalized in many films can face an existential crisis, so can anyone. The key is to find happiness on a day-to-day basis. If we rely on money, it gets spent. Food is a constant need. Even my cup of Starbucks only provides momentary happiness. Of course, there’s no Starbucks in the town we moved to – so I have been 7 days without it … and I’m okay.
Contentment is found in the moments: enjoying the days, balancing work and play, and spending time with people. Part of this trip was just an honest evaluation of our needs as a family. Unfortunately we were not at a point where one meager income could support us. We could have both gone to work and paid to leave Michael with a sitter, but that wasn’t what we wanted (we know not everyone has the luxury to make such a choice are and quite grateful for it.
Working just to work wasn’t getting us where we wanted to be in life. With Michael only having another year before going to school, we coveted the time with him. For us, the time with family is so important. We know the time we spend with Michael will form his spiritual, academic, social, and everything-else bases he needs for future growth.
So, I’ll take Solomon’s word to heart, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body” (Ecc 12:12 NASB) (despite the fact that I have a real estate exam coming up soon). I indeed am tired, but I have a great family and I intend to enjoy every day that I can with them.