Since I came to Los Angeles I have spent a lot of time on the weekends playing Ultimate Frisbee in a park high up on a mountain under the famous Hollywood Sign. If you don’t know what ultimate Frisbee is, it is an intense sport with some aspects of football and some of soccer, but with a Frisbee. This has been a great catharsis for me to release all of my energy and work out any anger I have from the previous week. Through this activity I have also gained a lot of good friends, many of who I hang out with even off of the field. Some have even asked to come to church with me. I have also had the pleasure to have several of my roommates and old friends come to play with us.
Yesterday morning I went to the field expecting the usual Saturday game. Upon arriving I was informed that one of our friends had passed away this week. This information really blew me away. Our friend Tom was only 24 years old. I found out that cancer was discovered in his body less than a month ago, and now he is dead. I realize that people all over the world die every day from many different causes, but it still makes you stop to contemplate life when it happens to someone you know. A lady from First Pres. Church of Hollywood died this week in a house fire. You never really know when it could happen to you.
Think about what you did last year, last week, yesterday, this morning. Would you change what you did if you knew that it was your last day on this earthly plane? This reminds me of some song lyrics that I wrote last year.
If you were given a warning
that you’ll die in the morning,
what would you do with tonight?
Would you throw a big bash?
Would you blow all your cash?
Would you try to set things right?
If you were told by a friend
That tomorrow’s the end
What would you do with today.
Would you release all your fears
After all of these years,
Or would you simply run away?
I think the point of all of this rambling is this. If you are not happy with your day to day life, change what you are doing. Pretend that you knew that you would die tomorrow. How would you spend your last day? Would you want to talk with your family or friends? Would you rather spend your last living hours watching television? What is the point of not enjoying life? Many people say that they are not happy with what they are doing, but that it will all be worth it for the payoff in the end. Do the ends justify the means? Sure, you can plan for the future, but at what date in the future does the happiness begin. Lately there have been many billboards put up around Los Angeles that proclaim that May 21, 2011 is the end of the world. This may or may not be true. I personally don’t believe it to be true, but it could be the last day for any of us. We might as well live as if it is.
I’ll finish this blog with the story of Tom’s memorial. Sometime this week a few of Tom’s closest friends organized an ultimate Frisbee extravaganza memorial for today. After church I got a ride to the North Hollywood Park to find games in full swing. Tom’s friends were grilling, having some drinks, laughing, and making new friends. It was estimated that over 70 people showed up throughout the day,and this wasn’t even planned until Friday. It was a great day of enjoying life. I got to know friends better, and even made several new ones. They had a box of some of Tom’s things, like dvds, books, and posters, that they wanted people to go through and take, to enjoy and think of Tom while they do. Overall it was just a great celebration of his life. I’m sure Tom would have had an incredible time if he were there. At the end of the night somebody said that we should have gatherings like this more often. I thought that the comment was very true. It shouldn’t take somebody dying, for the rest of us to really live.