Jason Sudeikis is an actor currently starring in a show called Ted Lasso. He gave an interview for GQ's August issue and spoke about his recent separation from his fiancee of seven years and the mother of his two children. (Read the entire article here.) An excerpt:
Sudeikis said that even he didn't have total clarity about the end of the relationship just yet. “I'll have a better understanding of why in a year,” he said, “and an even better one in two, and an even greater one in five, and it'll go from being, you know, a book of my life to becoming a chapter to a paragraph to a line to a word to a doodle.” Right now he was just trying to figure out what he was supposed to take away, about himself, from what had happened. “That's an experience that you either learn from or make excuses about,” he said. “You take some responsibility for it, hold yourself accountable for what you do, but then also endeavor to learn something beyond the obvious from it.”
First of all, his relationship ended a mere eight months ago and the writer of this article states that "even he didn't have total clarity about the end of the relationship just yet" (emphasis added).
Total clarity is something we crave and yet rarely get. Like a mirage, clarity comes and goes. Relationship clarity is like a unicorn darting through a fairy forest, rarely to be spotted by human eyes. These situations are so complex that I have only a minute amount of clarity regarding the end of my marriage, and it's now ten years later.
The wise statement that resonates most with me in Sudeikis' interview is the idea that we can have a better understanding over time, and the parts of our lives that are at one moment in time all-consuming, periods of intense emotion, and unparalleled anguish do become a smaller percentage of our overall life experiences as time marches on.
As Sudeikis says, "...it'll go from being, you know, a book of my life to becoming a chapter to a paragraph to a line to a word to a doodle."
This both en-courages and dis-courages me. I planned for my marriage to last for the entirety of my life, to be a complete fairy tale story- not just a few chapters in the middle, or worse yet just a line in the story of my life. The length of time I was married is now less than the time I have been divorced. And as those chapters compact into paragraphs and shorter and shorter memories over the span of my entire life, I mourn the loss of the most basic memories. I grasp onto glimpses and flashbacks of my marriage because it was- and still is- a hugely important time in my life and I don't want to forget it.
During the eight months I was separated from my husband before our divorce was final, I started to number my days- literally. Day 1, 2, 3, 57, 98, 169, 255, and then it was divorce day- 256. I had read a book in which a woman reunited with her husband after nearly 1200 days apart. I thought if I started counting now I could keep hope alive until reconciliation. As the days went on, I just kept counting so I knew I was surviving every day.
Psalm 90 is what I read on day 255- the night before my divorce. I did not delve into the context of this passage at that time. This is a prayer written by Moses after the Israelites found out that they would be wandering in the wilderness for the next 40 years (Numbers 14). It is likely that Moses would encourage the people to pray this prayer daily as they lived each day in the vast wilderness over and over and over again. Endless days to the people, and a mere breath for their mighty God (v. 4). The prayer reflected the brevity of human life and called the people to commit their ways back to a loving God.
Moses wanted the people to truly reinvest the time God had given them to build authentic spiritual lives to piece back together the broken relationship they had with Him. To work towards becoming wiser in the next part of their story.
Psalm 90:12: So teach us to number our days, that we may cultivate and bring to You a heart of wisdom. (AMP)
In reference to his breakup, Sudeikis added,
“That's an experience that you either learn from or make excuses about,” he said. “You take some responsibility for it, hold yourself accountable for what you do, but then also endeavor to learn something beyond the obvious from it.”
What God has for us, beyond the obvious, is to cultivate and bring to Him a heart that is wiser and more satisfied in his love than ever before. A heart that hears His voice, his direction so that we do come to value the time we have with the people we have while we have them.
Psalm 90:14-15- O Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad in proportion to the days You have afflicted us, and the years we have suffered evil.
And maybe then the book, the chapters, the paragraphs, lines, and doodles won't be ours alone anymore, but God working through us all of our days.