Why we’re fading out of existence
Mama said she was in the grocery store the other day when she felt it—the sensation that she was fading out. Out of the world, out of existence.
You don’t want to hear things like that from your parents.
It’s almost as if you think by not acknowledging death, you can keep it from coming.
But today, it happened to me.
All week, I’ve been at my house like a good citizen. I’ve worked at home in the daytime. Then at night, I sit on my bed, playing games on my phone—caught in a strange cycle of depression.
Even depression won’t allow me to starve my animals, and strangely, not even myself. Instead, I try to feed it like a hungry tiger, peanut butter mostly, something I never eat any other time of my life.
I had to get out of the house or go crazy. Dog food was a reason and an excuse.
Shopping was an odd experience. I’m not a fan on a good day, but this seemed surreal.
A sign at the entrance told me to push a cart no matter how much I was buying. Social distancing is vitally important during this health crisis, and apparently can only be achieved when there’s a physical object between two people. Space alone is insufficient.
Humans seem incapable of merely standing a significant distance apart.
Telling us to stay away is like drawing a moth to a flame.
Half the shoppers wore masks, some wore gloves, and all of us were awkward. We didn’t know how to pass each other on the aisles. The seventies music wasn’t even playing.
The empty shelves of the toilet paper and paper towel aisle had me shaking my head in frustration and relief. I have some at home. I’m okay for now. I can’t understand why toilet paper would sell out before beer. I don’t get this at all.
Standing back from the hamburger meat, I watched as two women tried to make decisions about what to buy.
I hoped they weren’t from the same family. Two adult members of the same household aren’t allowed in the store at the same time. Logic doesn’t lend itself to the rules.
No one understands this COVID 19 world.
In the checkout line, I studied the new transparent barrier separating me from the cashier. I had room to use my debit card and to grab my receipt. My air couldn’t accidentally become entangled with hers.
The girl bagging my groceries wasn’t quite as lucky. She wasn’t behind a glass. The germ barrier didn’t extend that far. Apparently, she was expendable.
Walking out, the first thing I noticed was a royal blue truck cruising through the parking lot. It seemed to be the most beautiful and amazing color ever made. I realized what being locked up in the house can do to a person.
Isolation can make you appreciate freedom.
The world feels like you’re experiencing it for the first time when you finally break free.
It was in the rush of freedom that it started for me.
It’s like you just sink inside yourself while the world keeps going. You’re looking out of your eyes like looking out the window, and it’s a much clearer view.
The first thing I grasped is: Life is finite.
I’m not going to be here forever. At that moment, I could feel it happening. The fading.
The second thing that dawned on me is: Activity isn’t proof of life.
We think it is, but it never was. All the moving around in the world doesn’t mean we exist, or that we’ll keep existing. Even if we do, life is MORE than that.
But we don’t get it.
We’re too busy, with too many distractions. Even though we were forced to stop, we never learned what to do in the quiet, in the STILLNESS.
God laid it out for us a long time ago in Psalms 46:10.
He told us, “Be still, and KNOW that I AM GOD.”
Life would be pretty simple if we knew how to do that. Instead, we pile more and more on, to the point where it’s no longer in our power to be still and stay alive.
We spend all our time trying to do, trying to achieve, trying to become, and we spend zero time just being still and letting God be God.
We didn’t listen, and now there’s too much noise for us to hear.
But if you stop to watch the world for a moment, you’ll feel it too. We’re fading out.
This is where the world stops.
Or maybe, just MAYBE, this is where we start over.
That truck sure was an amazing blue.