Wednesday, February 6, 2008

que sera, sera

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty, will I be rich?
Here's what she said to me.
Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Ugh what am I going to do with my life. Even though I told a friend today that it's not a crime to not be stressed, I still don't feel like I'm living adequately unless I'm in crisis mode. In complete contradiction with my love for peace of mind and clarity. Well, I've gone through both of those and back again in about . . . three hours.

Chloe spoke at IVCF tonight about "God's Heart for the City," an anecdotal, "In the Cit-ay," touching, funny, informative and all-around sobering account of her experiences with urban outreach/restoration (and approach to the Gospel). I was floored. I mean, I knew the world was poor . . . Actually, no, that's not true. I knew there were poor in the world. But no, I did not know that 40% of the people in the world live on 2 USD a day. Chloe did a nice price analysis for us of what $4/day would afford in Mexico (she just got back from a weekend trip), and she was left with 70c for "water, sanitation, rent, taxes, transportation, health care, entertainment, vacation, toiletries, tithing, saving, college education, school uniforms, etc." Oh, and before she became the IVCF director for the Pittsburgh-Metro area, she was on her way to becoming a concert pianist. Yeah. She was studying at Julliard. She gave it up for a position on IVCF staff.

So what am I doing, exactly . . . ? We're talking about the Restoration in French history: We discuss the plight of the middle class, the plight of the artisanal factions, the crisis of the socially mobile (actually immobile) "in-migrants" from rural France, the post-Revolutionary political upheaval, anti-Revolutionary sentiment, anti-monarchical sentiment. Life was pretty bad for the working class before the Revolution - afterwards, too - so are 19th century suicide statistics in the Paris region an accurate representation of the social demography for that time, that place? They've been categorized by age, sex, occupation, time of day, time of year, and method. No, they aren't accurate for that purpose because there are other factors to consider.

And life was bad in the past and it's bad in the present, and I feel like I should be able to process this on a much deeper level, but all I feel is a hollow pretense of a headache, sort of like when I have to fake a hangover for a scene in "Proof."

I feel like I really owe the world something. I feel like I should do something. But what? Gosh, sometimes I feel like I could be that person who makes a huge difference all on her own. I want it so much, sometimes, that I actually believe I could be her. I thought that for a second tonight.

I owe the world everything and myself nothing. But not just the world, I owe certain people certain things . . . and I'd say I owe the people I know personally a lot more than the impoverished I have never met. So I will spend Spring Break with my family and friends, even though I'm telling everyone in IVCF to go to the Pittsburgh Urban Plunge, even though I'm distraught over not going myself, even though I feel like, maybe, that's where I should be? What if? Chloe said (the Bible says, Mother Theresa said) we need the poor, not the other way around. And?

And when I wake up in the morning, I don't want to stop feeling like this, I don't want to forget what I'm feeling. But being in a perpetual state of turmoil is definitely unhealthy. And inevitably I get happy and sidetracked and forget that over two billion people live daily on the tip I gave to the guy who delivered my Chinese food last night.

Pray, pray, pray . . . And listen to "Faith," by George Michael (P.S. ELI STONE on ABC, watch the pilot!).

Possible things to give up for Lent: Hitting the sleep button on my alarm clock (not getting up as soon as I hear my alarm), feeling sorry for myself, letting my laundry sit in the basket after I take it out of the dryer,

I gave up AIM one year, I think it was either 7th, 8th or 10th grade. Last year, about halfway through Lent, I decided I'd give up crushing on boys.

Hm well I haven't decided yet for this year. Que sera, sera. I'll stay away from candy for a while in case I can't think of anything else . . .

When I was young, I fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead?
Will we have rainbows, day after day?
Here's what my sweetheart said.
Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

French phrases of the day for Monday, Feb. 4, and Tuesday, Feb. 5:
J'ai dormi à poings fermés. "I slept like a baby." True for Monday night, not for last night or tonight.
Je me suis reveillée a l'aube ce matin. "I woke up very early this morning." Not true for Tuesday morning; will be true for Wednesday morning.

Ooh you know what else I could give up? Putting off dropping my self-paced Italian class. I actually did some of the homework exercises last night while I was waiting for my delivery dinner. Preliminary chapter and chapter 1, out of chapters 0-4 (test next week). Um . . . or maybe just commit to pacing myself better. In everything. Gosh.

1 comment:

alice said...

Hey Sharon Darling.
Sigh, I can relate. To a lot of the things you've so eloquently pointed out. I'm always wondering about what to do with my life, too (can you tell?). I can't think in terms of making a living; I can only think of making myself a life worth living. What is purpose? What is my calling? That's all I want to know; everything else stems from there.
Some things I find to be true and at the same time struggle to acknowledge:
Being sympathetic is not the same as feeling sorry. Poor people don't need our pity. They need our compassion. Why do people need convincing of that? I'll never really understand. Just flip on the news or flip through the paper and you can see how much people need to extend love to one another.
What do we owe to the world? Nothing. What do we owe to God? Everything. That's not to say we simply need to devote ourselves to religiosity and become apathetic to our environment. God created the world for us to enjoy, respect, take care of, take part in. So in that sense, in a Law of Syllogism sort of way, maybe we do owe the world everything. But it's not a duty or obligation, it's about how we show our gratitude.
Anyway. I'm taking part in Lent this year, too! Refer to my blog.
Love you Sharon the Baron! I really do. :)