Posts Tagged ‘all of life is a test’

LEGACY 4: What’s Left UNDONE

May 10, 2018

(Originally written 9/16/14, modified slightly 12/14/14)

In Legacy 1, I started off with this question and this first point:

So what do I consciously choose to leave as MY specific legacy?

  • Life is process. It’s ongoing. Keep doing it. It’s worth living. (My basis for saying this: My father committed suicide when I was 3. He had 3 bullets under the pillow his head was laying on—and they may have been intended for my mother, my younger sister, and me.)

But sometimes, doing means NOT doing. What is left undone can be as significant as what is done, just as I pointed out in Legacy 2 that what is unsaid can be as significant as what is said. Sometimes more so, for both. The fact that my father, at age 27, ended his life, but made a choice to leave something undone, has allowed me to live more than double his lifespan—62 years as of last week.

And I count the last 2 years of my life as the most significant—I’ve said more than once, I’d trade them for all of the 60 years previous. That is largely attributable to the impact of a 3-year-old grandson, who has enabled me to bring life into HD, maybe even IMAX Theater. I remember as a kid, when color TV came on the scene, watching Bonanza and Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color, along with NBC’s Peacock, on Sunday nights—what a difference color made! Then I remember buying an HD TV a couple years ago—it really did seem like I was seeing things in 3D. And this little toddler has brought that into my life, and more.

Chiaroscuro (another one of those mellifluous words!), simply defined, is “the distribution of light and shade in a picture.” Light and dark. Day and night. Male and female. Comparison and contrast. Sweet and bitter. Inhale and exhale. The list is endless. It’s even in the heart of atoms—protons and neutrons. We exist, live, and breathe by opposites. One theologian even thinks we are bi-partite beings (body and spirit/soul) rather than tri-partite.

We should appreciate opposition. It creates unnoticed greatness in us. We grow by resistance (resistance training, e.g.). Often we don’t choose it willingly—but sometimes we should.

In Genesis 1, the Spirit is seen hovering over the Void, brooding, bringing existence into existence out of nothingness. What is unseen, unnoticed, often does that for us.

“What you don’t know could kill you.” Yes, but what you don’t know is that what you don’t know can also make you alive, bring you fully alive.

Sometimes it takes a crisis moment, an NDE (near-death-experience), an epiphany, a serendipity (mellifluous!). Eureka! AHA! However you want to express it. It was there all along, unnoticed, not something you had done. Undone.

Another test. “All of life is a test.”

But be careful. The doing of it may be the undoing of it…