My mind has been turned to things of eternity. I have been thinking about potential; I have been thinking about my life's mission; I have been thinking about where I am on the timeline of my earthly life. It was driven home with resounding power, as I was sitting in the temple, that as I approach the mid-century mark I am far from being done with my life's work.
Seriously, in all practicality, I could very well be merely halfway through my life. Then why do I sometimes feel that I am nearly ready for retirement? My children are grown, life as a full-time mother has abruptly changed with a nest that is pretty empty. I have been reminded that I still have a lot of living left to do, and more importantly, I still have a lot of learning and contributing and refining to do, with probably many years left ahead to do them in.
What does this mean then? Does it mean that I resign myself to the aches and pains that are knocking at the door? Or does it mean that I must meet this conqueror with a full-battle attack? Do I let myself become old, as is threatening, or do I reclaim my youthful health by trying a little harder?
If I am, perhaps, only halfway into life could that also mean that I still have hobbies left to discover and to perfect? Does it mean that I still have thoughts to think and dreams to imagine?
I choose to think that I do. I am reminded of a popular phrase from Monty Python, (surprisingly) which proclaims: "I'm not dead yet!"
From a more expected source, I have also been inspired by the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who recognized that he too has a lot of life left in him. In his essay entitled Experience, he contemplates the threads on the loom of time, and the picture they paint of our life's work. He wisely admits: "I know better than to claim any completeness for my picture. I am a fragment, and this is a fragment of me."
So, even though sometimes I feel that I have seen it all, and done it all, and feel very smugly wise in my "old" age, I truly am but a fragment when compared with what I am capable of. I do not know even half of what I should. I have not served and blessed enough of God's children to have begun to repay my great debt to a loving Heavenly Father.
The world is full of opportunity. What a gift. We have also been given a gift of time: "And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh..." (2 Nephi 2:21)
Our days are prolonged that we might finally figure out all that we must know and all that we must do. What a gift.
I'm not dead yet!