Old and Full

“Job died, old and full of days.” Job 42:17

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I want that to be the  last sentence in my story. I want my days to be full and my life to have been full of them. At the end of it all, I want weather on my skin and glimmer in my drowsy eyes. Without want, without regret, and with so much joy I strive to exit time. Standing where I am now, I imagine what’s ahead. Brilliant uncertainty is littered all along the narrow road. There will be joy and there will be hurt. There will be dancing and there will be mourning. There will be sunrises and there will be sunsets. It might not all even out: the good and the bad — but abundance never promised comfort.

Most hard things I do are never satisfying until I’m done. I can’t really sigh relief until I’ve earned the degree, until I’ve reached the peak, until I’ve sent in the final draft. Noteworthiness doesn’t happen without a bit of sweat along the way. Even then, who’s to say what you’ve done will be noted? Job, I’m sure, wasn’t pondering the days of riches restored while he was being tossed among a debate of gods: The Creator and his adversary. Nor will I be grateful during terrifying bus rides, homesickness, questionable meat, and lack of electricity. But I will find hope in the rising sun, and I will sing praises on the days, in the moments, that I remember I’ve said yes to fullness.

This limbo-ish time before moving to Nepal has let us wade a while in wonder. We’ve had more time to prepare than life’s abruptness usually allows. Suffering is usually abrupt. I wonder what Job would have done if he’d had time to prepare for losing his family, his health, and his comfort. Unlike abruptness (which I’m sure we’ll confront some along the way), we see the hardship before us. We see long stretches of loneliness in a new culture, we see our bodies adjusting to new food, we see unfamiliarity and a lot more. Honestly, it’s hard to see past those things at this point. But it feels dang good to fight through the madness and take hold of heavenly confidence.

Because then comes the much anticipated excitement and freedom. Freedom to explore, to cook with new spices, to see the world in all of it’s wonder, and to love and embrace new surroundings and new friends. I’ll wrestle through the murky days of doubt to settle into the reality, the beauty, of fullness.

Making a dent requires taking a beating, fighting through the fear and the loss. I’ve tasted abundance, and it’s sweetest after the fire. I’ve learned we can’t avoid the flame, we can only numb the pain and cover up the burns. But numbing doesn’t come free. We may gain comfort but we’ll pay for it with abundance. The highest highs don’t come without a deep knowledge of the lowest lows. Those are the most exciting stories.

At the end of it all I don’t want to say I did what I could to just make it by with the least amount of scratches. I want to hold my scars high, for all to see, and know that I’ve said yes to fullness.