The Cycle of Life

Do you ever think about the cycle of life? 

I do. There are 12 Developmental Stages in the human life cycle. I’m in Stage 8, early adulthood. While my grandma is in Stage 12 death and dying. 

Those in our lives who are dying, or who have died, teach us about the value of living.  They remind us not to take our lives for granted, but to live each moment of life to its fullest, and to remember that our own small lives form of a part of a greater whole.  – Dr. Armstrong

That’s one reason why I’m so interested in the banal and just living a simple life. Because living in the moment is one of the best ways to fully experience the whole cycle of life. And we don’t have to wait ’till we’re dying to figure that out. 

Genesis 1-3 is so interesting to me, but I feel like there’s so much more to the story. So, I read it again and again hoping to get some more understanding about our creation. 

Tempted by Peer Pressure

That day in the garden when Eve was deceived by the crafty serpent and led herself and her man astray, that’s the day we were cut off from the tree of life. We had access to it and every other tree in the garden…except for that one tree…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And Adam wasn’t man enough to get control over his woman when she didn’t stand up to that serpent. 

Was she even listening to God when he told her how to handle the trees? When the serpent asked her “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” She just carried on a conversation with the deceptive dude and he was much more clever. 

Instead of clarifying what God really said, she said something about not eating or even touching the tree in the middle or you’ll die. That answer right there opened the door for the serpent to beguile her. Why didn’t she just say, “Well, let’s just go ask God what He said.”?

Matthew 4 shows a good example of how to respond when being asked about what God really said.

Shame and Fear

Then when God asked them about it, they hid from Him, they lied, they made excuses, and they played the blame game. 

We were not ready for the responsibility of that kind of wisdom gained from knowledge of good and evil. Maybe one day we would have been but not yet. And now we’re stuck in a constant battle of good vs evil. In everyday life, in movies and in books. In everything.

Gustave Doré  Adam and Eve Driven out of Eden
engraving 1865

There’s some crazy stuff in the Bible, like some of the creatures God created. He cut us off from accessing the tree of life by placing cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth. I’m assuming we’ll get access again one day, I dunno.

And I guess that’s why we have this fleeting cycle of life. We go through the aging process and die and return to the ground from where we came. And while we go through the aging process, I guess our society decided to make some bank.

Like Eve, I’m also drawn to wisdom. I think it looks pleasing too.

Wisdom

My grandma was telling me about how she’s had a hard life but she loved it. She said if you can learn, then you can do anything. As a child, the doctors told her she’d never walk. That she would need surgery. And as a young adult they said she’d be in a wheelchair by the time she was 40. Well, she’s 83 and never had surgery and never used a wheelchair. 

Doctors don’t know shit. They apparently have a very low opinion of what humans can accomplish.

She was also talking about her husband and how he’s the only man she ever wanted. They met on a blind date and he didn’t want some floozy. He wanted a good girl who was feisty and could handle a wild guy like him. And that’s what he got. They had one of those story book romance loves. They definitely had struggles, but it was true love. 

And she told me she wouldn’t change one thing.

I think that’s beautiful and we should all try to live our lives with this attitude. So, maybe we are stuck living in a fleeting life but there’s so much living to do in that natural cycle of life. Even in my grandma’s dying days, her state of mind is to live each day she’s alive. 

Trusting God Even During a Nightmare

Ok, as I sit here writing this I’m thinking that I’m just a big ‘ole baby. I want to come up with some well written and moving prose about how my situation is an unbearable nightmare and I can’t believe that God would ever treat my family this way. 

But how selfish can I be? I’m not homeless. I’m not hungry. I do live without some things that I need but for the most part I live in abundance. 

I’m so sorry that I panicked and just jumped online to beg for help. I’ve seen so many people raise money for a never ending amount of needs around the world, so I thought that’s how God wanted to provide for us. And I’m not one to ask for help. I hate asking for help. But I saw my grandma suffering and I just lost my mind and resorted to exploitation.  

I’ve been so proud of my grandma through all of this though. I’m usually so hard on her looking like some mean bully expecting her to do things for herself instead of coddling her. But this is why. At least she was still walking and she could use the bathroom on her own. She could prepare her own food and do the things she wanted to do. But thanks to the harm done while in the care of the medical community, she is now trapped. 

But again, I’m proud of my grandma. Through this whole experience she has continued to have faith in God. She keeps saying that we need to trust God…that God is in charge…that he’s our boss. And she’s right. Even when I complain and tell my boyfriend that God hates us, I know that’s not true. I know God loves us and He’s taking care of us even during such a dark time. 

I think it’s even more important to trust God during the hard times.

When I’m not bad mouthing Him, I’m saying the same things. I trust God and I’ll just accept His will no matter how bad it is. He’s the same God who allows free American’s to be executed in the streets for petty crimes (or no crime at all) by our police. He’s the same God who allows people to get sick from diseases and covid everyday. The same God who allows people to be so desperate to escape their situation that they will cross the border in dangerous ways to find any kind of refuge they can. 

That’s what life is like on our planet ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God and we’ve had to suffer and toil. 

This whole situation is especially hard to deal with since I live in the moment. And these moments I’m living right now are some of the worst moments of my life. But I feel so happy and blessed to be able to show my grandma love during this time. She knows she has family she can trust who love her. And love never fails. It always perseveres.

If anyone reading this is also going through a nightmare, I hope that my experience can provide some kind of encouragement to help you get through it a little easier. 

Just Breathe – Willie and Lukas Nelson

1-Nature1

For a few weeks YouTube has been suggesting this Willie and Lukas Nelson cover so persistently I finally gave it a listen. I kept scrolling past it cuz I just wasn’t in a Willie mood but I’m really glad I finally got so curious that I had to click on it.

Willie and his son harmonize so well together. I loved the scenes of them singing together in the bar. I couldn’t help but think of my own Dad, who I’m blessed to know. Then I started thinking of everyone else in my life that I feel so blessed to know.

Then these lyrics stood out reminding me of the ones I miss who unfortunately aren’t in my life anymore . . . or at least for a short time I hope.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh if I didn’t, I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me

Read more: Pearl Jam – Just Breathe Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Life seems long but we really have such a short time with the people we love to enjoy the world God has given us. I think it’s important that we live in the moment and really enjoy our time with our loved ones. Don’t waste time fighting about silly stuff. Just be there for each other in the good times and bad times, cuz Love Never Fails.

Check out this behind the scenes video of them talking about their family being together while working on this beautiful song.

This song was actually written by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. Here they are performing at Austin City Limits in 2009.  Listen for the violin . . . it’s so pretty and complements his voice nicely.

Both versions are touching and beautiful so I hope you check them out. Don’t just scroll past them like me . . . the Internet might not choose to be as pushy with you on this particular song.