I’ve been taking this class in theology. It’s called EfM – an abbreviation for Education for Ministry.I am finally in my last year of this four-year course. Many people who think that they might have a vocation for the priesthood or the diaconate take this course. I’m just trying to learn more about theology. I have a vocation already. It’s representing kids and helping them. But a theologian I have come to enjoy – if such a thing can be said about theologians – is Søren Kierkegaard. The reason I really love what he had to say is that he spoke of faith almost as being the exercise of fools – that one believes when it seems to be the most fruitless and most pointless of exercises. The concept of finding joy when none seems available or even possible has always fascinated the somewhat perverse side of my nature. So much so, that even my bestest of friends find that part of me hellishly annoying at times.
A long time ago, when only three of my children were on this earth and my husband was unemployed, I taught music at a local Catholic school. One of the 8th graders brought in to class a song by Journey . It was then that I started really really liking this band. One of my favorite songs of theirs was “Don’t Stop Believin'” from their Escape album. Sadly, the young man who brought their album into school took his own life just as he was about to enter high school. They said he was suffering from depression and nothing was working. He was a lovely, intelligent dear young person and I will forever be sad about the loss of his all-too-short life.
If you’ve read this blog, you will know that I have lost clients to suicide and illness. Young people who should have had a chance at the blessings of a long life. Their loss is incalculable.
One of my children suffered from a similar depression some 12 years after David died. Because of him, we took her comments about wanting to die seriously. We got her help. She is alive today and a young wife and mother with a future in helping others. David’s death was not wasted, but his life was still too too short.
Ironically, “Don’t Stop Believin'” enjoyed a bit of a Renaissance a few years ago and it became the song our kids sang at karaoke. When it was played at the reception for our oldest daughter and her husband’s wedding, they all broke into song. They were somewhat chagrined to see that I knew it, too. Moms are not supposed to do that sort of thing. But there was plenty of alcohol and we were celebrating – what can I say?
This last day of December, 2010, a former client of mine had a beautiful baby boy. Aeden joins his brother, Kieran and his mother in a Delaware hospital. Babies are the craziest sign of hope, aren’t they? So fragile, so helpless, yet their very helplessness and fragility move mountains.
So, as this holiday season and 2010 comes to a close, dear friends, when life gets crazy, when nothing seems to work, when all the highway signs point to a toll you can’t pay. When you feel like it’s not worth it and checking out seems the only way to go, please do a Kierkegaard. Hang on for one more day, one more minute. Just take a deep breath.
And don’t stop believing!