Sometimes I find myself feeling a little guilty for enjoying my life and loving my humanity. Do you ever feel this way?
I love living in the mountains. This lifestyle isn’t about winning or being better or the best or constantly pushing boundaries. It’s about appreciation and enjoyment, reflection and sustainability, gratitude. And just as much, the community built around shared passions. On one hand, if too serious this lifestyle can produce depression and anxiety if one is ruled by or obsessed with it (read this sad story for an example). On the other hand, it can help maintain a healthy mind, body, and soul if received for what it is. Not another fix or high, ultimate fulfillment, sole focus, but an addition, a piece and part of a healthy whole. The problem (as with all things) is making it the whole, making it primary and paramount when it simply can’t meet that expectation.
“The more you look to something or someone to fulfill you, the less it will. The less you look to something to fulfill you, the more it will.” An important life lesson. Any lifestyle can move from a healthy addition to an unhealthy consumption. It’s not difficult to cross over from one side to the other. I don’t live for it, and I can live without it, but if it’s my choice and I don’t have to, I won’t. Ideally our passions are gifts that fill the heart for what they are. Less ideal, they become an obsession, addiction, drug, more and more required to feel the high and fill the void.
I don’t want to worship or live for what I enjoy. These can’t be the sole source of joy, happiness, contentment. Yet, they can contribute to fulfillment without becoming the whole. God said, “It is good.” He meant—the earth, the universe, you and I, our bodies, existence, experience, life. It is good. Why did no one seem to emphasize this inherent goodness? Being in a body. Physical existence and experience in the created universe. Earth and earthiness and living in and on and with the earth. It’s still difficult for some of us to affirm the goodness of life when the physical was diminished in favor of the spiritual (as if they are somehow separate). Why not both, equally emphasized, each a fragment of the whole?
The message was, “This will all pass away.” It was about making it, surviving even, then leaving. There must be more to what I see and know and feel and experience than the purpose of burning it up. What about redeeming, restoring, making all things new and whole? How can we diminish what God has called good?