What are you doing with the rest of your life?

photo taken by L.M. Cobb
photo taken by L.M. Cobb

3/13/15 by Leneé Cobb

I was a headhunter. No, not the kind that collects shrinking heads, but the kind who matches people with positions. The challenges this profession presented thrilled me. I realized my job entailed not only placing people with the right skills into the company with a need for those skills, but also making sure personalities meshed.

Between interviewing job seekers and kinking my neck by cold-calling businesses, I visited the businesses, met the owners and or managers, and got a feel for the rest of the employees to understand better what type of personality would meld within their organization. Most of my counterparts never left their offices. My placements soared.

I’d interview an average of six to ten people a day, day after day, week after week. There came a time when my dreams, instead of producing a sweet escape, consisted of nothing but images of job applications. I knew I had to take a break and headed to the wilderness.

It’s a beautiful day in May. I lie stomach down on an air mattress and float, suspended between sky and water, in the middle of a shallow lagoon. I allow my arms to dangle in the water while studying the lagoon’s sandy bottom. The water is lukewarm for about a foot before it chills, due to the glaciers feeding this lake. I lean over the edge of the mattress to watch the reflections of slow-moving, puffy white clouds, snow-topped mountains, surrounding green forests and myself within the water. My mind drifts.

This water, in some form, has been around since the earth began. I can see myself within something—something close to eternity. That comforts me. I think about vampires and about how they’re not supposed to be able to see their reflections. I think about baptism and can’t help wonder if there is more to this rite than Christians realized, which brings me back to thinking about eternity. If water represents eternity, I’m happy to see myself included within it.

How will I fit into eternity? I no longer believe that after death my employment will consist merely of cloud sitting, harp playing and singing angel songs. What if during eternity, I could do whatever I desired, as long as God had no problem with it, of course. What would I want to do?

My imagination takes me far.

I love painting. Rudyard Kipling’s poem, When the Earth’s Last Picture is Painted, comes to mind. However, I also enjoy hiking and animals. Wouldn’t it be great to landscape? What would a well-tended garden look like after a thousand years? I start to think of all the things I’d like to do and discovered it will easily take eternity for me to accomplish them all. Eternity—a place with no time limits. I imagine God enjoying watching me engaged and participating happily in His creation.

In the distance, a boat motors past the lagoon. Eventually, the ripples roll beneath me and my visions blur. I ride the waves without worry. The water settles and I wonder more. If my newly formed theory is correct, how can I better my chances of doing what I desire within eternity?

The Lord does have a sense of humor because what I see next is the exact thing I’d come all this way to escape. The clear image of an empty job application floats up from the depths of my subconscious. Only this one’s empty, as in blank. The message is clear. This is my job application to fill out for the jobs I want to do within eternity.

How will I fill in all those blanks? I zero in on them.

• First off, there is the place beneath my name that asks about my goals. I easily list off more than four major things I want to do. Paint, of course. Landscape a pretty waterfall. Ride a snow leopard. Plant and tend one of those thousand year gardens. Have a seal and a porpoise, like Flipper, as my friends. Music of course, I’d love to learn to play a harp and sing effortlessly, just not all the time. I figure is a pretty good start of goals, although eternity is pretty hard to fathom.

• The next blank area in the application consists of my education. What schooling have I now or could I have that might tie in to achieving my goals?

• After education, I must list my past employers. What tools had I used, and what were my reasons for leaving?

• Then, there is a blank box for me to list my special skills. What skills might God consider useful for me to attain the goals I’ve set for myself within eternity?

• Another blank box asks about my hobbies and community service. Although listing my hobbies is easy, my community service is practically nonexistent. What can I do to improve my application? How might these things tie into my goals?

• Oh my, now I come to the section where I’m to list my references.

I stare at the vision of this application a long time, pondering all the blank areas. It will take me my lifetime to fill them.

It’s been over 30 years since that sunny day upon the lagoon. What am I doing these days?  Still filling in the blanks.

References and credits:

You Tube video used here with permission by Jim Clark: poetryreincarnations at youtube

Photography and artwork below by L.M. Cobb

Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Kipling2

When Earth’s last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it – lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen Shall put us to work anew.

And those that were good shall be happy: they shall sit in a golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of comet’s hair.
They shall find real saints to draw from – Magdalene, Peter, and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired at all!

And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master shall blame;
And no one will work for the money, and no one will work for the fame,
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things as They are!

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