“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” (Eccl. 3:12-13 NIV)
Last Spring I started to get some high blood pressure readings so my doctor recommended changing my diet. I mostly gave up salt and also cut back on the foods high in saturated fat because my cholesterol was creeping up a bit too. Thankfully, after a few months my blood pressure is near normal again. I also had a nice side effect of losing some weight, only not in the places I wanted.
While I have lost some belly fat most of it is still there stubbornly hanging around my middle. Instead I lost fat on of all things my face. My cheeks seem to be sunken in a bit now. Two jowls of loose skin have also appeared on either side of my chin. Even my neck looks strangely skinny. This adds to the weirdness of my ears, nose, and upper lip continuing to grow. Also the hair on top of my head seems to have migrated to my ears. And my thick, wavy, brown hairs have become thin, wispy, gray ones. When I look at old pictures of myself as a young man and then look at the face in the mirror, I am both shocked and amazed at the mystery.
The mystery in the mirror, though, is just one of many far bigger mysteries in this life that I still don’t understand. Things like why is there war, hunger, and suffering when there is more than enough for all of us in this world? Why does Love feel so good and yet sometimes also hurt so much? Why does God give us so much free will when we so often screw it up? Why does laughter, love, joy, and smiles come wrapped together with anger, fear, sadness, and tears in this mixed up package called life?
I guess I never will understand any of these things completely while I am still in this world. I will do my best then to trust in God to guide me through this sometimes crazy life. I will do my best to keep living my life with joy, laughter, and love even if I do look weird in the mirror.
Joseph J. Mazzella