A few weeks ago, a preacher spoke about a new term that I had never heard before: “Cloud Talk. When you die, you elevate to heaven where you sit on a cloud. You look down on the planet to see where you lived. You contemplate what you did with your time on Earth. How did you live? What made you tick? Did you fall in love? What kind of friends did you keep? Did you do anything significant with your life?”
The preacher said, “Your greatest challenge will be your greatest triumph. Where would Noah be without the flood? Who would know Babe Ruth if not for opposing pitchers who tried to strike him out? Where would Oprah be if there were no social injustices? Who would know Albert Einstein if not for the mystery of the universe? Who would Peyton Manning be without an end zone? Who would Michael Jordan be without a hoop?”
Before his death, the Beatles singer-songwriter, John Lennon, related a story about what it meant to be alive:
“When I grew up, I asked my mother, ‘What was life all about?’”
“She said, ‘To be happy.’”
“When I reached high school, the teacher asked the class to write a paper about the meaning of life,” said Lennon. “I wrote that the meaning of life was ‘to be happy.’”
“The teacher handed me back my paper with the statement, ‘You don’t understand the question I gave you.’”
“I responded, ‘You don’t understand the meaning of life.’”
What would cross your mind if you sat on a cloud staring down on your life?
When adversity struck you like the floods hit Noah, did you rise to meet the waters with courage? Did you seek solutions? Did you rise with the “Ark” of your creative mind? Did you let other people thwart your aspirations? Did you argue with them? Did you struggle in the same mud?
A fable of ancient times said, “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get filthy and the pigs love it because they bring you down to their level.”
Whatever adversity arrives on your doorstep, you can change arenas as to work, friends and enemies. Sometimes, “inner adversity” tears at your insides. Your spirit reveals itself at such times.
Remember that critics always deride everyone’s efforts but their own. As you look down from your cloud, you might think it’s amazing what you didn’t accomplish because of other people’s verdicts on your aspirations.
Did you accept the call while you spent your decades on planet Earth? Did you break out of a confining life or some stifling relationships? Like Noah’s struggle with the flood, ultimately waters cleanse your body, mind and spirit during the journey.
As you sit back on that cloud, you may realize that struggles on Earth expanded you, developed you, and taught you. The “Great Spirit” coded your DNA for expansion throughout your time on the planet.
Realize that life brought floods such as inner turmoil, rough waters, scary times, breakdowns and betrayals. While living, you dealt with angry waters that arrived from different directions. You may have created some of your own problems, and other challenges maybe came from external situations or people. Remember that life also brought you happiness in the form of friends, family and your passions.
With each passing year, you learned lesson after lesson. Each “flood” subsided while you charged toward higher ground. That meant you evolved into a higher consciousness. Life constituted a journey of becoming.
Okay, let’s fly down from that cloud and realize that you still live upon this planet. Are you following John Lennon’s statement about life… “to be happy?” Are you fulfilling the creative energy to grow, expand and discover your highest good?
He also wrote a song titled “Imagine” that rings in my ears today. Imagine what you want out of your time on Earth because you enjoy living and pursuing whatever makes you “happy” as compared to no one.
Frosty Wooldridge is an environmentalist, mountain climber, scuba diver, dancer, skier, writer, speaker and photographer. He has bicycled 100,000 miles on six continents and seven times across the United States. His feature articles have appeared in national and international magazines for 30 years. You can find his many books and other info at HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com