One of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes cartoons goes like this: Calvin finds a quarter in the grass and says, “Look! A quarter!! Wow! I’m rich beyond my dreams! I can have anything I want! All my prayers have been answered!”
In the final frame, Calvin is down on his belly, rooting through the grass, saying, “Maybe there’s more,”
For most of my adult life, I thought my three-score-and-ten were a mere prelude to an eternal life to come. Life on Earth was significant only to equip us for an eternity in Heaven.
I am no longer convinced that there is a life beyond this one. In fact, I consider it unlikely. You would think that I would be depressed at having lost over 99.9999999% of my future. Strangely, I am not.
I find that I value this life all the more.
Having become convinced of a different story of how we got here, I am even more amazed than before.
What a privilege it is to be alive even for a few decades! I have found much more than a quarter in the grass. I have love, freedom, work I enjoy, unending interesting things to do, and beauty everywhere. Even consciousness itself is an incredible gift.
I think life is like a game. We each get a turn. When my turn nears its end, I will be gratified at all that has happened. Most fulfilling will be the relationships I’ve had with my family. A close second will be the feeling of accomplishment at having discovered a few things about the game itself. I will be glad I had the good sense to appreciate my turn while it lasted.
For me, that is enough.
I am so very thankful to have found just one quarter.