… we begin to ask ourselves, “What is the meaning of life?"
Last December, a brother in my previous community passed away.
My heart sank upon confirming it. We were part of the same small group of brothers. We went to our community’s weekly gatherings, inspirational events, and worship concerts together with our other brothers and sisters in the community. We were also part of a small team that helped our builder start a new session of our weekly gathering.
When I left the community in 2013, I just heard that he already flew back to the province. And then, three years after, I heard that he already passed away. He was only in his early thirties.
Yesterday, I found out that another brother in the same community passed away in an accident just last week.
Again, my heart sank. I knew him personally. We were in the same small group when I first joined the community in 2011. He shared his dream of starting an auto-detailing shop to us back then. He really loved cars. In 2014, a year after I left the community, I heard that he had already started making that dream a reality.
I am turning 29 this year, but he would never reach even reach 28. He was two or three years younger than me.
Remembering these two brothers, I couldn’t help but think of the dreams they shared with us. There were dreams of starting a business, of progressing in their careers, and of serving more in the community. There also probably were dreams that they shared only with their closest friends and families like getting married, having their own families, and providing for them. Dreams that you and I also dream of. Dreams that will never become a reality for them.
Poignant thoughts overwhelmed me yesterday. For a while, I was paralyzed by strong feelings of sadness and regret.
I thought, what if I was the one whom God called to be at His side? What if, in an unexpected hour, the Maker calls me back to His heavenly abode?
I thought about my unfulfilled dreams — for myself, for my family, for my fiancee, for our future family, and for God. I couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to make it to the finish line of my dreams, especially those that are for the people I care about.
But more than those unfulfilled dreams, my heart sank even more when I thought about the people in my life. Have I loved them enough? Have I told them how much I loved them? Have I made them feel how much I loved them? I realized how much I want to tell them and make them feel how much I love them every day.
I also asked myself, "Why do I obsess myself so much over my dreams that the people I care about take a backseat?”
I read the messages of the people in those two brothers' social media accounts. I read about how much these two brothers loved them, and how much these people loved these two brothers. The messages were simply about them and how much they loved — their families, their friends, and their God. The messages were not about what they failed to accomplished. Not even about what they have accomplished.
I realized that while their lives here on Earth were short, they still lived full lives. It was not because of any achievement, but because of how much they loved.
I guess life is not about an obsessive pursuit of our dreams, no matter how selfless our dreams are.
Life is not a race to the finish line of achievements or working to have a comfortable life.
Life is not about living too far ahead into the future or being stuck in the past.
Life is about loving to the fullest — right here, right now, in the present.
To my brothers who are already at God’s side, thank you for teaching us how to live. You have reached life’s finish line by loving us fully. Without holding back. Now, you are at the starting line of eternal life with God. You are in my prayers.