Monday, October 6, 2008

Bring Your A Game (better is one day in your courts)

Better is one day in your courts, better is one day in your house, than a thousand elsewhere.

As good as life is for us down here on earth, time in the presence of God is promised to be thousands of times better. Literally, thousands. Something I can’t even grasp and something we’re not designed to understand. If we understood God’s plan, God’s will, God’s thoughts, then faith would not be something difficult. We wouldn’t grow, we wouldn’t learn things about God. He wouldn’t be a wonderful mystery and we wouldn’t be drawn to get to know him. Just as the couple who learns something new about each other after years of marriage, our relationship with God is designed to be ever-evolving, and if we knew everything up front about how life worked than we wouldn’t have to -or get the chance - to live life.

Our friend Jay Chenoweth is in Heaven. It’s so hard to sum up Jay in a sentence, but for those of you who don’t know him, he and my dad grew up together, my mom met him and his wife more than 25 years ago, and we’ve gone on numerous ski trips and new years eve trips during the past decade. If I could hand-pick my in-laws, it would be mary and jay for sure. (cathy & jim have always been off the table because they don’t have sons.) 8 years ago, jay and I started calling each other homie. (it has to do with jay watching mtv. Story for another day.)

For some reason, God decided that it was time for Jay to leave our world. Jay had been fighting cancer for a while now, bravely, courageously. So weird to type that he’s gone. I can’t dwell on it or I’ll just throw this computer right out the freaking window. I know homie is dancing in heaven, praising god and playing golf with the disciples and doing whatever we all do when we arrive at the thrown of the King. I know that God completely planned this, and that good will come out of everything God does. But I’m still hurt, confused, and stunned. More so for others than for me. Homie has a younger brother and older brother, wonderful friends, his rockstar wife Mary, and two fun sons John and William who I really consider brothers, or at the very least cousins. He was only 45? Why die now?

Homie was so fun. He skied like a mad man. He was HILARIOUS. I told my dad – I never would have told homie this to his face, it would have gone to his head too much – but I could make a list of all his qualities and if I found them in a guy, I’d marry him right there on the spot. He was faithful but not in your face about it, he was hilarious (did I mention that), he was loving and kind and gentle and so patient. Then when he lost his temper, he was, again, hilarious. He was full of adventure and life, planning a trip for our two families in RVs to Colorado. He was hardworking, generous, and so dedicated to his boys. His family was his life.

The quality I was inspired by most was homie’s devotion to mary. He was completely in love with her – if she was in sweats or a cocktail dress, if she was happy or grumpy, he loved her with his whole heart and was not afraid to show it in front of anyone.

Jay lived life to the fullest. Over a thousand people came to his memorial service, clearly showing how much he touched others lives, and how blessed he was during his 45 years on earth. I will be forever thankful for knowing Jay and getting the chance to be around him. I know I will hang out with john and William and mary for years and years to come, they can’t avoid the Robinson family. My plan from here on out is for all of us to pick up slack that homie has left us while he flew up to heaven: to live life on the edge, full of humor, love, and adventure – just as he did.

Homie always had one liners and sayings ready to fly out of his mouth. He always had hip music on his ipod, cooler than me for sure. Always knew at least a few of the latest rap songs. On several occasions I tried not to literally wet my pants during his antics with Mary, my dad, or anyone. One of my favorite memories is just me and him on the ski slopes in steamboat, I don’t know how we ended up just us the two on the lift, but the ski lift operator called him my dad. I quickly corrected them - “he is NOT my dad” and after that he would tell strangers he was my dad and be as awkward as possible – such as blowing his nose really loudly on the ski lift with strangers.

We’re all trying not to be sad around my house. Homie would want us to keep on living, honor his memory. It’s sometimes so surreal to me. Is he really gone? This is so weird. But I know something: what an inspiration that our lives are soooo short. I have new motto now that my homie’s gone up to the room that Jesus told us he was preparing for us: Bring your A game!

Ski fast, live life, love with abandon, give it your all. Jay gave his family his all, was hilarious with friends, I’m starting to repeat myself. I could go on forever.

I wish we’d had longer with him. I wish that more for Mary and the boys and his brothers and my dad and his countless other friends than I do for myself. I’ve certainly realized - this is one life. That’s all we get. It could end tomorrow. Seriously.

Better bring your A game.

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