Our shadows stretched towards the tombstones as I took photos. There were hundreds and hundreds of them. Infants to ancients. Death does not discriminate.
For some, I'm sure death was a complete surprise. For others, it was the end of a very long battle. All their worries - vanished. All their struggles - gone. All their angers - silenced.
The graveyard was quiet and peaceful overlooking the Southern California ocean. It was beautiful.
The hustle and bustle of the world moved on and on around them every day. People busy with living. In some ways, it's funny what we worry about (or get worked up about) in our lives. Life passes by and we often waste time with worry, anger, and judgement.
Some of the dead probably had very strong political beliefs. Some preferred one group of people over another. Some believed in God while others rolled their eyes.
But all were gone. Whatever worries, angers, or beliefs they held onto in life were silenced at the grave (at least, from the perspective of the living).
The grave is very real for you and me. We want to not think about it - avoid it - deny it. But - we have a final resting place somewhere too.
What are we wasting time in our life with right now? How much petty anger or worry to do we hold onto each day we live? Ultimately, that crap that won't matter one bit when we lie down in our final resting place.
For me, this is motivation to love more. Relationships are so important. That's what we'll remember when we're dying - relationships. Don't ya think?
They're messy though. There's a lot of risk. I should know. I risked a marriage - and it crashed and burned. But, looking back, I'm thankful for that chance at optimism. I am a better person because of it all. But there was pain. And pain creates conflict and tension. Risk.
I think we all get hurt in relationships. Jesus did. Why do we think we might get a pass when the whole premise of the Great Story was a broken relationship - reconciled and restored by the One that died a brutal death on a cross? God risked everything for relationship. And what an amazing story He's telling through it all!
We risk a lot in relationships too. We often say they're the most important thing. But are they really? Words and actions often disagree.
"When all is said and done - mostly things are just said, and not much is done." T. Campolo.
Take time to risk today! Love! And put your petty anger and worry to the grave. Love does! Go risk loving people!
That's what I'm gonna try to do today!