Saturday, March 28, 2015

Is It OK to Mourn?


Dear Readers, 

Tonight I went on a rant with my wife. I was not angry and my rant was not focused on her. I think I was a little bit melancholy. You see, I sometimes get into a state of questioning and in a sense “mourning”. During these times I usually think about the past, the present, and the future. I’m a sentimentalist at heart, although some people might disagree. And I have a degree of mourning about things. 

Sometimes I mourn when I wonder about the past. I wonder why I was born into my particular family and heritage. I wonder why I was raised in my Amish-Mennonite community. I wonder about the circumstances I encountered in my childhood, most of them good, but not necessarily extraordinary. My childhood church is now a huge church with large outreach in Holmes County, Ohio, and I wonder why it waited until I left to grow and thrive. I even wonder why my school sports teams waited until I left to become perennial state powerhouses that I can only experience from a distance. 

Sometimes I mourn when I wonder about the present. I wonder what my purpose is at this point in time. I wonder about my impact as a husband and a dad. I wonder about my vocation and what impact I’m having as a job developer in a community mental health center. I wonder about my tiny church and what impact we are having in the Mansfield, Ohio area. I wonder about Ohio, American, and world events and the impact they will have on the future. I wonder what it would take for government leaders and citizens to only worry about pleasing God and not worry about pleasing their respective political parties. I wonder what it takes to be a productive and discerning citizen. 
 
Lastly, sometimes I mourn when I wonder about the future. I wonder if I will have an enduring legacy that will be looked upon with respect and draw people toward God. I wonder about my wife and where her writing will take her, and what lasting impact it will have. I wonder about my son, and what it will take for him to reach his great potential. I wonder what it will take for family members and friends both nearby and far away, to change, and to perhaps wonder along with me what wonderful things God has in store for us. I wonder where my church can go, and what it can become in our community. Can it grow both spiritually and in numbers that I can experience it first hand, instead of later after I have moved on. I wonder if our government leaders can follow God’s leading rather than their political party. Also, I wonder if the worst of all people like ISIS individuals can have an awakening. 

I think it can be good to mourn about things, but perhaps to not go on a rant or to be melancholy about it. 
See you next time, 
Arlen

4 comments:

Dee Yoder said...

*Tears*, Honey. He comforts us and that's good to know.

Arlen's Living Water Springs said...

Thanks Dee. My post was going to be "Sometimes I Wonder", but I had another post of the same name. I don't really think about it or mourn too much. I do, however, sometimes think about whether there is anything I can do to intercede more so God continues to do a good work in our lives, in the lives of our families and friends, in our community around us.

Joe Keim said...

Very well written, Arlen! I would have to believe that most men think the way you wrote. For some reason, the following scripture came to mind when I got done reading your awesome blog:

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Arlen's Living Water Springs said...

Thanks a lot Joe. Just a little earlier the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote, "It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart." Ecclesiastes 7:2. If death is the final outcome and unpredictable, then it is up to us to pull out all the stops to reach them. By the way, on Thursday I enjoyed you and Sam Girod the most because you both were the most passionate.