“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. At first, the infant, mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms. Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping like snail unwillingly to school. And then the lover, sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier, full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard, jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, in fair round belly with good capon lined, with eyes severe and beard of formal cut, full of wise saws and modern instances; and so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts into the lean and slippered pantaloon, with spectacles on nose and pouch on side; his youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide for his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice, turning again toward childish treble, pipes and whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history, is second childishness and mere oblivion, sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”JACQUES. ACT II SCENE VII, AS YOU LIKE IT.
I had plans for today. It was supposed to be a memorable day. Birthdays are special in general but when it falls on a weekend and on a Sunday for that matter, it’s a BIG ONE. The way I had planned to worship God in a special way today at church. I would have danced and rolled on the floor in worship to show my appreciation. Hmmm! I always knew this year’s birthday was going to be a memorable one but right from Monday I’ve not been excited about my day like I was from the beginning of the year. Anyway, it’s still going to be memorable perhaps not in the way I thought it would be…lol.
For the past two months, our world has turned upside down. Everything at a point just came to a standstill. Who thought the year 2020 was going to be like this? But here, we are. We’ve not totally given up on the year yet. I believe these will pass soon. However, this period has taught us a lot and one such lesson I want to talk about today is the changing scenes of life and the need to appreciate life.
One of my favourite Unit Heads at my workplace displayed pictures taken of the staff in April 2019 and April 2020 on her social media status. April 2019 was fun.; we came to work each day dressed up with a touch of yellow. I think it was Customer Service Month. We went to work with excitement and did our jobs with smiles. She shared beautiful pictures of colleagues smiling in their touch of yellow and right after those happy pictures she shared pictures of April 2020. These were not happy pictures. It showed the faces of colleagues who had struggled to pass through military barriers to get to work in nose masks and hand gloves. At the end of the image display, she wrote: “Changing Scenes of life”. I watched her status display over three times and sighed and commented “hmm, Life is funny” She replied, “Yes oo, this is food for thought”.
As I went over and over her status, I thought about the brevity of life. I thought about how great God is and how little the world is. I thought about how easy it is for the world to come to an end if God decides to sound the trumpet. I thought about how I needed to appreciate life. I thought about how I needed to appreciate people. A lot of thoughts came to mind that night. One was the monologue by Jacques, Act II Scene VII of As You Like It, as you read in the introduction of this write-up. Another was this scripture;
Our days on earth are like grass; like wild flowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows and we are gone as though we had never been here.
But the Love of the Lord remains forever with those who fear Him. His salvation extends to the children’s children.
I don’t know why I’m writing about this today. I wish I could write about something that would make us all happy and laugh. I guess it comes down to the topic, ‘The Changing Scenes of Life”. One moment we are happy and all is going on well in life. Good jobs, great relationships, joy and testimonies and then the next time, we find no joy in all those things again. It can also be the reverse, from the sad moments to the happy ones. That’s life, and it can change at any moment. That’s why I’ve come to believe in living your life the best way you can – of course, not forgetting God.
My friend, be deliberate about your life. Be happy. Shakespeare talks about the seven stages of life. It starts and ends in the same place. Being a child and growing old to behave like a child again. What makes the difference is the changing scenes and how you play your role, right from birth to the point of death. If you always have Psalm 103:15 in mind, you will appreciate every day of your life and everyone you encounter because you know your life is like the grass on the field, today we are here, tomorrow we are gone. You should appreciate every scene in your life, from the infant stage to the schoolboy stage to being a lover to being a soldier to being a Justice to being the old fellow and even to the second childishness when you have no idea what is happening around you. Sad! Remember this, you will never stay at any stage forever, the scenes will always keep changing but make sure every scene of your life is well played. Be the best actor you will admire if you sit in the audience to watch the story of your life acted out on stage.
Today I call my birthday a throwback one:
… Looking back on the changing scenes of my life.
… Looking back with a grateful heart to God.
… Looking back with a heart of gratitude to my amazing family and friends.
When you are meditating, do think about these things. Do think about the changing scenes of your life to this point. You might get emotional like I am right now. You might end up looking at life from a new perspective like I have. But I hope it makes you look forward to each day with more meaning and to appreciate the life you enjoy. Who knows what’s next after Corona?! ??