This weekend, Whitehouse high’s young ladies and gentlemen held their annual Junior-Senior Prom at The Cascades in Tyler. My son was one of those students in attendance. For nearly twenty-four hours before the event, I watched the weather radar with close eyes, concerned whether or not it would affect the festivities. While we did get some rain and wind, the devastation of tornadoes and major storms skipped over us. We were fortunate that our kids could enjoy a night of celebration and fun, but it was heavy on everyone’s minds how close and how serious the storms were.
On Sunday evening, I pondered how closely this mirrors daily life. Nearly every day, I hear about the excitement of the birth of a new baby to a family member or friend. At the same time, almost daily I hear of the grief of the loss of a loved one to disease or disaster. Every day, both joy and pain are occurring simultaneously. Families are shedding tears while their neighbors are cheering. Hospital hallways hear the shouts of healing and cries of mourning mere moments apart. I am reminded of a praise song that refers to the cross and says “sorrow and love flow mingled down.”
In this world, we will have peace and panic, joy and pain, happiness and heartbreak. It is simply how this broken world we live in works. You will laugh again after a loss. You will cry again after the victory. There are mountaintops and valleys. Over the years I have learned one thing for sure. If you are in a valley, hold on tight…there is a mountaintop ahead. And if you’re on the mountaintop, don’t get too cocky because there will be a valley around the next bend. It’s inevitable.
As I have said many times before in this column, live your life to the fullest. I beg of you to savor your days. Relish the relationships you’re given. Hug your family and kiss your spouse. Use the good sheets and jump on the bed. Pull out the fancy dishes and serve hot dogs on them. You never know when one of the storms of life may pass by and change your path and rip apart your foundations. It all happens too fast – both joy and heartache.
Whether you’re heading to the prom this week or hunkering down in a windowless interior room, keep in mind these seasons pass so quickly. Your mountaintop or valley is just ahead. Whatever you are experiencing today will be over in the blink of an eye.
(Contact Liz by email at Lizreeves2@aol.com)