Squares

I bought a brand-new date book yesterday, the kind I use every year – spiral-bound, black imitation leather covers wrapped around pages and pages of blank boxes. Every square has a number to tell me which day of the month I’m in at the moment. Every square is a frame for one episode of my life. Before I’m through with the book, I will fill the squares with classes I teach, people with whom I ate lunch, everlasting committee meetings I sit through, and these are only the things I cannot afford to forget. I fill the squares too with things I do not write down to remember: thousands of cups of coffee, some lovemaking, some praying, and, I hope, gestures of help to my neighbors. Whatever I do, it has to fit inside one of those squares on my date book. I live one square at a time. The four lines that make up the box are the walls of time that organize my life. Each box has an invisible door that leads to the next square. As if by a silent stroke, the door opens and I am pulled through, as if by a magnet, sucked into the next square in line. There I will again fill the time frame that seals me – fill it with my busy-ness just as I did the square before. As I get older, the squares seem to get smaller. One day I will walk into a square that has no door. There will be no mysterious opening and no walking into an adjoining square. One of those squares will be terminal. I do not know which square it will be.
- Lewis Smedes

My name is Josh Clark. I am twenty-three, and I do not know how many squares I have left. I could have 18,250. I could have three. Whatever the case, 24 hours from now I’ll have one less. Will I have used it wisely?

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2 Responses to Squares

  1. Bethany says:

    I really enjoy the reflective posts you make, Josh.

  2. J.T. says:

    I agree with Bethany; I smiled when I saw a reflective post.

    Do you remember that part in Return of the King, where Pippen is afraid he’s going to die in battle? Gandalf has this great line of a far green country with a swift sunrise, and he encourages the frightened hobbit.

    You speak (and believe) with so much passion; do not fear of dying and wondering if your life was well spent. None of us know how many squares we have left (We are but a mist that appears for a little while and vanishes).

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