80’s music, love it or hate it or somewhere in between, it’s what my high school and college days were full of and when I hear those songs it brings back memories of dances in the gym, clubs, and dates with my husband. The other day I heard John Cougar Mellencamp’s song “Jack and Diane” while on our anniversary date. And one line struck me, “Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.” I thought, “no, wait, that’s wrong!” Life goes on, of course, in big and small ways that we often don’t notice because we forget to live our life. We exist, day to day, making plans for someday, when the kids have finished college, when we retire, when we don’t have to pay for braces, when we have time, money, energy – take your pick. We’ve lived like that for seasons, more seasons than I liked, and it took a toll on me. I lost a part of who I was, that person who believed in myself and who thought we would conquer all as a couple. We gave in to life going on without a thrill.
I now know what a mistake that was. God did not create us for mediocrity. But I was intimidated by a world which said I should be an adult and adults did certain things and behaved in certain ways and I was determined to do all the things. But they were not always the God-things. God-things sometimes make us uncomfortable or push us forward to try something new or different. And we let fear take over or the rules imposed on us by others instead of being true to our purpose of serving God.
I’m not sure if it’s my age or what, but I am ready to rid myself of the “shoulds” and the fear and embrace what God has for me. One way I have done this is with Unbound, a healing and deliverance prayer ministry. I have prayed with someone for my own freedom from old wounds and past sins and now am part of our dioceses’ prayer team and minister to others through this prayer process. Another way is praying the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The Exercises help me to look at my life with detachment and learn to rely less on myself and more on God.
Each of us is called to live a life where we don’t lose the thrill of living. In our living we serve an awesome God who calls us to him and wants our good more than we want it for ourselves. God puts hopes and dreams in us, embrace them and live them out. Let your life always be a thrill!
©Deanna Bartalini, 2019