Yesterday I attended the funeral of one of my classmates. It’s quite a bizarre thing attending a funeral of someone your age. Aside from the obvious grief and sadness, the idea that “this could be me” is overwhelming. All of the cliches that fit the occasion are prevalent, as they should be. We hear things like “every moment is a gift” and “live life to the fullest”, but in those moments of grief it’s hard to fully comprehend what that means. Overnight last night there were 2 separate shootings in my hometown. 3 people were killed, including a police officer and 2 more were injured. When something like this happens so close to home it’s really hard to process. It really could be me.
Over the past several years I’ve been fascinated with science. The complexity of our universe is mind boggling. From the smallest of quarks to the stars billions of light years away, and the ridiculous intertwining of muscles and tissues that make up the human brain, which produces consciousness, which scientists believe exists but do not know how to identify, it’s has become plain to me that we are on this planet for a reason. It is impossible to not feel small. The magnitude of our universe is overwhelming, and yet there is comfort in the complexity. I guess realizing this is what it means to “live life to it’s fullest”. I can no longer wake up in the morning without thanking God I’m able to. I can’t listen to my 2 year old recite to me all of the NFL football teams without being amazed at his cognitive ability, and being thankful for whoever had the God given idea for the sport of football. I can’t toss my dirt go kart into a corner without thanking God for the laws of physics, and for creating the greatest racing surface on the planet. I can’t look at the stars without seeing purpose, and I can’t look at a blade of grass without being thankful for it’s ability to turn CO2 into oxygen, and feed the animals that feed me. I can’t go to the zoo and see two baby lemurs swinging in their playpen boxing each other without seeing the personality of a higher being that created the animal, and it’s playful attributes. I can’t hear a beautiful melody, eat a fine meal, watch a great film, admire the craftsmanship of an instrument or great architecture, or marvel at my wife’s beauty, without seeing the fingerprints of a God who loves me. And I can’t go to a funeral of a friend, someone my own age, someone that meant something to me and my wife, without realizing that every moment is indeed, a gift.