“Heavy experiences?” you ask. “I’ve never heard of such a thing.”
Well, let’s look at the experiences of our lives.
They come in all sizes, weighed according to the impact they have on us.
How much do they change our course?
How much do they alter our view of the world,
what we believe we can expect from life?
How much do they change how we view ourselves, how we define ourselves,
our lives, our dreams?
“Light” experiences don’t quickly throw us off-balance.
They are small enough that they don’t immediately challenge our core beliefs,
our life expectations,
our definitions of what is normal.
Yet even “light” experiences become heavy as they accumulate over time
or if they gradually lead us in a different direction.
But those are not the ones we’re considering right now.
I visualize life as a balance system, like a balance scale.
Now those are ones that immediately change our lives
by adding or taking something weighty.
Gaining, losing, or changing a position or job.
Great material loss or gain.
Any experience that greatly challenges the way we define ourselves,
Heavy experiences may be predominating positive,
like the family camp we enjoyed last summer.
We brought together for two weeks our nineteen person family
of children and grandchildren.
Fun, but intense.
Filled with revelations,
not only of others but of myself.
Some self discoveries I liked,
others I did not.
Maybe I’ll share more of that another time.
But heavy experiences can also be predominantly negative,
like the unexpected death of my mother last fall,
and, soon after, the death of my sister-in-law.
In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing
how my perception of “heavy experiences” has changed
and what I'm l learning about I how I need to deal with them.
In the mean time, think about your experiences.
Begin to label them.
Light or heavy, or something in between.
Until next time you might want to consider the following verse, Psalm 62:8 NIV.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Did I hear one of you say, "What does this have to do with novels?"
What are novels but accounts of experiences, heavy and light,
that change the direction of characters' lives?