My daughter Francesca is in the phase when it is imperative to give a meaning to one's life. It's like wading an endless, neck-deep lake with treacherous holes in its bottom while holding a large, precious burden above one's head.
She has been wading that lake for some time now. Knowing her, she is not likely to get over it very soon. It makes my heart ache in her stead since I know only too well how unpleasant that kind of wading is.
She is not alone in the lake. Not a long time ago, my son entered it, too.
And there are many others. Me too.
The surface of the lake is speckled by bobbing heads like an impressionist painting. They are vast multitudes and yet each advances alone, generating small concentric ripples which make it even more difficult for the rest to breathe.
An 'air' view of the lake, were it possible to get one, might reveal that the tiny specks form an ever changing picture. At times it may look so incredibly beautiful to make you think it's meaningful but a moment later, when you try to get a closer look, it becomes frightening and utterly meaningless. There are brief moments when you feel you have got a hold of it but, as soon as you become conscious of the feeling, it slips away like an eel, leaving you with but a handful of repellent slime.
A few dots proceed straight ahead towards where the opposite shore is supposed to be. The shore itself can't be seen, presumably because it is hidden by the curvature of the horizon. Actually, it can't be excluded that it does not exist at all. The lake might wrap all around a huge Globe. Maybe we believe there is an opposite shore simply because we were told so by those in front of us who, in turn, do likewise for the same reason....
Most dots do not follow straight lines but move along all kinds of curves, some smooth, some full of sharp cusps. Some have fallen prey to desperation and jettisoned their precious burdens - and not a few ones are desperately trying to recover them again. Often there appear fancy local patterns as though invisible curls of a magic wind were playing gently against the silky surface. The patterns trap scores of dots in endless circles of varying diameters.
At present, the picture contains over six billion dots and more are entering the waters all the time.
Five billion burdens to carry!
Five billion meanings of life to find and not a chance to produce them in a factory! No chance to do anything about it but to wade on! It's overwhelming and nice to contemplate, after all.
Maybe that's it!
Maybe the dots mean nothing by themselves but, as a whole, the picture is meaningful to a superior mind. Maybe God likes to contemplate it while doing whatever is the God's equivalent of sitting at a fireplace, sipping a glass of brandy and looking at the flames.
At such a moment you and me, dear Francesca,
are two sixbillion-th parts of His feeling nice.