do something

December 1, 2004

From If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, by John Ortberg:

Garrison Keillor tells a story, called “A Day in the Life of Clarence Bunsen,” about an older man who realizes the years have slipped away and his life has missed something. Clarence goes to see Father Emil at Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility for some advice. Normally Clarence goes to the Lutheran church, but he wants a second opinion. When that doesn’t help, he walks past his old school and climbs the hill overlooking Lake Wobegon, where he and his friends played as kids years ago.
While he is reflecting on his life, Clarence hears some kids coming up the path. For some strange reason he runs ahead of them and climbs an old tree he remembers from childhood. The kids stop right under his tree; they know he’s around somewhere but don’t think to look up. Clarence knew that if he dropped down on them or even yelled “Ha!” they would jump out of their shoes. He watches them, so full of excitement and life, and thinks to himself,
“I wish I could be like that. I just seem to go through life with my eyes closed and my ears shut. People talk to me, and I don’t even hear them. Whole days go by, and I can’t remember what happened. The woman I’ve lived with for thirty-six years, if you asked me to describe her, I’d have to stop and think about it. It’s like I’ve lived half my life waiting for my life to begin, thinking it’s somewhere off in the future, and now I’m thinking about death all the time. It’s time to live, to wake up and do something.

Latest Posts