Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Remembering My Previous Life

"If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."   ... Galations 1:10


Way, way back when I was (arguably) a sweet young thing, Tom, Naomi and I lived in Nevada and sometimes we'd take the curvy, high-pitched drive to Virginia City. Now, if you've never been, you don't know that Mark Twain's name is etched and plastered everywhere because he spent time there and Virginia City is practically holy ground if you were a fan-- and I was.

Back then I learned that Mark Twain wrote, Roughing It, describing the funny things that happened to him and his brother, Orion, on their way to V.C. and I vowed to read it because, 1.) Twain wrote it, 2.) I lived in Nevada, 3.) We'd driven over most of the Nevada desert and 4.) We dragged all our out-of-state company to Virginia City and had it memorized. (We nearly moved to Virginia City, even walked through a house with a realtor, but that's another post.)

Well. Today I began reading my Kindle version of Roughing It, 24 years after vowing to do so because hey, these things take time. 

Of course, it's delightful.

And I even read bits of The Innocents Abroad, another book I've been meaning to read since 4 or 5 Presidents ago. What a sense of humor this man had.

Reaching ones 50's is cool because you've done many things, visited tons of places and read whole shelves of books and now--on the other side--you can calmly decide which other things you'd like to do, visit or read before you leave this planet.

Which sounds like a much heard, trivial thought, but while we're younger? We were probably too busy or afraid to do what we wanted, so instead, we did/visited/read what other people told us. And because we did not know ourselves (or what we were created to do), we lived other peoples' lives and now it's all a blur.

But in your 50's? I think the pull of other peoples' opinions or bossiness lessens. Or it should by then, anyway. Calmly glancing back at what one missed becomes easier for many, though sadly, some will assume God's previously planned version of their life is forever gone, with no chance of restoration. They'll hang their heads and tell sad stories till they die. 

But the stout-hearted and determined folks who refuse to stay pitiful? They make hopeful lists of goals and, holding God's hand, they plug away at checking them off. When we burst out of the 'shoulds' and 'oughts', God opens remarkable, previously unseen doors and turns bad to good so that these people, the late bloomers, miss hardly anything at all.


"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done,"  ... Genesis 50:20

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten..."  ...Joel 2:25



Terra said...

Virginia City looks attractive. I have been to Sierra towns on the western side, including the one where they have the jumping frog contest. Now you have me wanting to read the 2 books you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

I went to Virginia City once... thought it was pretty cool, but don't remember Mark Twain being mentioned everywhere.... all I can remember is the "Bucket of Blood" saloon and the weird old hearse parked out front!! :)