This past month I had the pleasure of attending my 20 year high school reunion. Interesting to say the least. To see where some have gained (usually in the waistline) and to see where some of us have lost (certainly along the hair line *ahem*) was fun. But to also catch up and see where each individual narrative took off following high school was, for me anyway, fascinating.
Out of a graduating class of 100, about 35 (give or take) showed up for the all-important 20 year reunion. Of those 35, there were some whose lives followed a trajectory that made complete sense, others whose lives went in a direction that came as a complete surprise. But all of the stories I heard that night, although varied, had one reoccurring theme: There are no ordinary people. C.S. Lewis, in his classic text, The Weight of Glory, expands on what that means. These are his words:
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal…But it is immortals (people) whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendors…Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.
Lewis goes on to write: “…it is a serious thing…to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one of these destinations.”
Strong words and a much needed reminder that if it’s true people are not mere mortals (and it is true!) we are, as Lewis writes, helping each other to one of two destinations. Something to consider as we look back over the past 20 years and as we look forward to the next 20…