It seems that as we move ahead in life, previous situations, events, and attitudes seem almost childish in comparison to who/where we are now. My older sister, Lydia, read me a letter I wrote to her when she was preparing to move out and go to college. I couldn’t have been more than 16 years old at the time, but I remember writing every word. Her speaking it to me was a refreshing splash onto my face of the inner heart that beats inside of me. Sometimes we look back at the past and feel childish for what we did. Other times, we are reminded of moments where things were quite different than they are today, and we partially wonder whether or not it would be a healthy thing to go back to those moments in time and bring back the person we were when those events occurred.

We have grown up. When I say “we” I mean the Plaat family. Six+1 kids who have matured over the past few years. We aren’t quite who we used to be, as we’ve grown from that place in time. Yet each and every one of us maintains the proper respect and dutiful understanding of a refreshing view on life. Perhaps Calvin & Hobbes is good for the soul, or maybe it was all of the Far Side cartoons that taught us to not take life too seriously. Whatever it was, it was good.

In some ways, things have changed without really announcing their presence in our lives. I’m not the person I thought I would be when I used to think about the impact recent events would have on me. I had assumed that negotiating contracts, submitting invoices, cashing checks, and working hard would somehow change the type of character I am. In fact, it’s quite the contrary; I’m still me and the circumstances have changed.

There’s a level of internal fear that exists when you ponder whether or not you are becoming somebody you are proud of being. There’s also a certain contentment that occurs when you understand you are on track to being an individual you can respect and see confidently in the mirror every morning.

The mirror…

I wonder if we’ve all had moments where we gaze into the mirror and stare intently at the person we see. When I think about it, I immediately think of all the different faces that have stared back at me during these times. Nervous glances darted back and forth as I prepared for a hot date at 17. Loopy eyes drew me in as I struggled to support my intoxicated self on the counter at the fraternity house, leaving a mark from where my forehead ended up resting on he glass. Glancing into the mirror as I adjusted my tie for my father’s funeral service. I still have a photo of that moment. A quick glance before I got into the shower at 5387 Winding Way, Apartment L, gave me the startling reminder that these eyes would stare in many mirrors; from broken glass to polished surfaces in brand new Mercedes Benz’s, these eyes had quite the journey in front of them. Staring into the mirror at the gym, last night, I remembered the words of UFC President, Dana White, stating “That guy had the look in his eyes that he was willing to die for this fight. And that’s when I knew he had it” sparked me to set a new weight record during my lift. The list could go on. So will our lives.

Our lives are ours to live, love, and make the most out of. Last night, I had the opportunity to speak with somebody in another country who lived on significantly less than we are accustomed to. $150 a month for rent and making under $6 per hour. And yet, he seems much happier than many people I’ve met here, including myself.

I think of the little things that seem so necessary for us, wondering whether or not we’ve really missed the point of our existence here.

“The LORD is my shepherd” is often misinterpreted that it’s us who ‘own’ the shepherd. However, this is just a reminder that we, as sheep, are as silly and dumb as it gets. Let the LORD lead and don’t be afraid when He makes you lie down in the green pastures.

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