Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tracking Life: Where I stand

Teddy and I watched this incredibly corny movie last night called "The Wedding Weekend". Perhaps its one redeeming quality is the fact that Molly Shannon adds some much needed comedic relief from beginning to end. Also, I was introduced to this little nugget. I wanted to share this neat little chart from the movie in the spirit of accentuating the positive.

David, played by actor David Harbour, introduces this graph after reuniting with his college buddies. The chart plays a significant role in illustrating some much needed perspective on how their lives have progressed (or in some instances regressed) since their college heyday. For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I am a visual person, so I tweeked the chart a bit.

David's chart is based on and 80 year lifespan, which is accurate. In the recent census, the US Census Bureau estimated the average lifespan for Americans to be about 78.1 years. Whereas my chart is based on an 84 year lifespan (I needed a number that was divisible by 12 to make adding the other reference points quick and easy). Also, I added a watermark.

To read the chart, you simply plot your age on the life line, then draw a vertical line down from that reference point. In doing so, three other reference points are created to measure against the 84 years of your life: one year; one hour; and one minute. So, if you're 42 years old, you'd be approaching the summer or midday of your life.

I liked this exercise for two reasons.  One, it provided three unique lenses through which life can be viewed, which raised some interesting questions for me. At this stage in my life, I'm looking at the woman I've become and wondering if I am journeying in the direction that I really want to go. I am questioning whether some of the tentative decisions I've made are becoming permanent before I really want them to.

Two, it made me recognize how grateful I am for God's presence in my life, because the closer I get to God the more obvious the answers to these questions become. The more I learn about God's character, the more I understand my need for His divine guidance. Through this lens of relationship with God, a more important question emerges: Am I willing to entrust my life in the hands of Almighty God, so that I can enjoy the maximum possibilities of my life?

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