Emily, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?”
Stage Manager: “No.”
From Our Town by Thorton Wilder
In The God Diagnosis I wrote about Our Town, a play by Thornton Wilder. “Our Town features Emily Gibbs, a young woman who dies while giving birth and is then allowed to come back and observe her life for one day. Emily discovers the horror of wasted memories and a world without eternity as her life is now viewed from a new perspective. She realizes for the first time that everyone is so busy running around, working, and doing small chores that they aren’t even looking at each other or enjoying each other’s company. She desperately wants to see her family stop for just a second to embrace and enjoy the little things in life, but they never do. Emily sees how the meaning and essence of life are lost moment by moment in a sea of distractions. Precious moments are not truly treasured. They are unappreciated and forever lost in time without anyone seeming to notice. Emily concludes that humans don’t even know they are alive until they are dead. They take life for granted until life is taken away.”
This weekend as I spent time with my Dad, who is very sick in the hospital with complications from cancer, I discovered that I had gone back to living in Our Town. I now have many regrets. I haven’t spent enough time with my Dad nor truly enjoyed his company when he comes to visit. I took it all for granted. I let the hope of eternity (my Dad is saved) take the place of the importance of the present. I know I will see him again in heaven if he doesn’t make it, but I wish I had enjoyed him more right here on earth. I let the busy rat-race life we all live rob me of what truly matters most. The modern world has largely destroyed the extended family of our country’s past and think we have made a mistake.
Don’t make the same mistake I have. There is never enough time for the ones you love. The hope of heaven and eternity with the Lord is incredible and amazing, but it doesn’t replace the moments we have right now even in this fallen world. Get out of Our Town today. Tell your loved ones how you feel. Stop the rushing madness of life and spend true quality time while you can. Above all make sure they know the Lord.
Greg V, TheWord MD