One of my favorite song lyrics of all time is “we’re travelers here, only passing through. And every breath we breathe is coming back to You.” I have always found these words to be so profound because they fully capture the beauty and fragility of life here on Earth. They provide a raw perspective of the idea that this life is truly a gift to be cherished.
Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a classmate who was a Lance Corporal in the Marines. Hundreds of people gathered to pay honor and respect to the soul of Gabriel and his spirit. Although we were never close friends, for the 12 years I knew him he embodied a quiet, humble man. The impact he had was evident in the large crowd of people who attended & others who supported him from afar.
When I walked up to the church, the sidewalks were lined with men and women who served to fight for our country. Their willingness to advocate for our country in such a selfless and passionate manner was profound as they stood with their heads held high in respect. The service was beautiful as a young man whose life was lost too soon was remembered. As the lone piper played “Amazing Grace,” I watched some of my middle school and high school classmates lead Gabriel’s casket down the aisle and out of the church. With the sounds of a beautiful tune and some sniffles, I was hit with a feeling of awe and wonder. I had never had a classmate pass away before, but watching people I once knew so well grieve over the loss made me think deeply.
We are all connected to one another. As a family loved and created by the Lord, He holds us in existence. The Lord allows us to find Him in the simple and desires to share Himself with us. Seemingly such a simple concept, but it’s very real. Though there were many people there I hadn’t seen or talked to in years, we are still connected. They played a role in my life and will always be a part of my story.
Life is crazy like that. One day you see someone a lot and get well acquainted with them. You become great friends and consider them to be a big part of your life. You both get older, college, post-grad, real life happens and you slowly drift apart. Maybe you made an effort to still chat or the space divided you, but they are still very much a part of your story. I’ve heard the phrase “people are in your life for a reason and a season,” and in many respects I find that to be true. It’s a testament to the beauty of life.
Think about all the people that have shown up on your path. Some may play an avid role in your life whereas others might not anymore, yet they contributed to who you are now. Who you are actively becoming. Though I commonly take this gift for granted, community and friendship are such a blessing. Personally, I am blown away when I think about all the people I have met along my journey so far. I have learned so many lessons and made some profound memories. Foremost, the moments in which my faith has led me to, stand out.
I am able to look back on closed doors and difficult periods of life and see the Lord. He has always been constant despite my changing seasons of life and for that, I am beyond grateful. The Lord’s presence in my life reminds me how sacred being here today truly is. Living is a gift and I want the life I live to reflect that truth.
We are here on mission. The Lord sent us here to be in the world, but not of it. He wants us to do good works and make His love and life known. No words I could ever write would fully encapture the depths of this truth so I will leave you to ponder these words I mentioned at the start of this entry:
“We’re travelers here, only passing through. And every breath we breathe is coming back to You. We’re strangers here, I know it’s true. That death is just a door that leads us home to You… all that lives forever is love.” – Steffany Gretzinger