When I was a child, I used to play video games or watch TV to escape the “real world.” Back then, magic and fantasy were a button-press away. As I’ve gotten older, it seems that games and movies have grown up as well. Now, the entertainment industry strives to be as realistic as possible. Realistic combat games, reality TV, and real-life dramas have replaced Super Mario Brothers and Labyrinth. There is still, however, one thing they all have in common that will forever separate them from the real world: the PAUSE button. Whether the enemy combatants are only one room away, or the Real Housewives are about to make a startling revelation, or it’s right at the climax of the movie; if an issue arises, you can just pause what you’re doing and return to it later, no harm no foul.
If only REAL life worked that way; instead, no matter what obstacles are before you, life goes on. We usually hear those three little words in times of trauma; people say it as a hopeful sentiment, a flippant remark, or as intended comfort. Maybe you got fired. Possibly a loved one has passed. It could be that you’ve lost your home. It is inevitable that in your time of grief, someone is going to put his or her hand on your shoulder and proclaim, “Life goes on.” And as much as you probably don’t want to hear it, it’s the absolute truth.
Life goes on even when you’re unsure of what the next day will bring. Life goes on even when you’re depressed and don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. Life goes on even when it feels like your heart has been crushed. Life goes on even when you are experiencing soul-searing grief. There is no pause button so you can figure it out; no rewind so you can try it again; no fast forward so you can skip the bad parts. There is only PLAY, and life moves forward no matter what.
You can bend the rules a little; you can take more days off of work or just veg out for a while. You might even take a little impromptu vacation. But the problem with that is that life goes on, and it will catch up to you. If you take off time now, later on, you will have to cram more in to get it all done.
In the midst of a storm that threatens to swallow you, you cannot let it drag you down. You have to fight with all of the energy that you have left, because even if you fall, life goes on. If you choose to give up, you are giving up on your family and your children, too. Life goes on. Your world will continue turning, and you cannot let the torture you are experiencing tear apart what you have spent all of this time building. We do not live as islands; rather, we live in intricate webs of relationships, and when we allow life to move on without us, we are damaging far more than just ourselves.
The hope we have to look forward to through this is that no matter what happens, whether you fail or succeed, whether good triumphs over evil or not, life goes on. Our lives do not end in the midst of our turmoil. We are granted daily the opportunity to seek God, right the wrongs, and take the next step toward a new season.
Yours is the day, Yours also is the night; You have prepared the light and the sun. You have established all the boundaries of the earth; You have made summer and winter. –Psalm 74:16-17
by Lili and Eric Morris