Chemistry. I am spending my summer taking two semesters of chemistry and lifeguarding. Riveting, I know.
But class and work got me thinking, which I have plenty of time to do since guarding actually provides great opportunities for mental solitude.
So I was thinking. I was thinking about life, and just how fragile it is. Humans— living organisms in general, really— are fairly resilient. Our bodies go through a lot of wear and tear, and they just keep on movin’ and grovin’ and our hearts keep pumping blood and our lungs keep exchanging CO2 and O2 and our brains continue to fire off action potentials telling all of our organ systems to keep doing their thing so we can keep on living. Despite all of our resilience, though, it can all change in the blink of an eye. A few minutes too long without oxygen able to get into our blood. A few minutes too long without that oxygenated blood able to get to our body’s tissues. A couple million extra cells replicating in ways they shouldn’t. There are so many ways to die, so many things that can go wrong.
I know, I know: “Jordan, this is getting morbid. Where are you going with this?”
I just want to get the point across: there is a scarily large number of ways to die. I was going through lifeguard/CPR training and thinking about how we try, we try so hard to teach people (lots of people) how to save others, because those minutes matter. The minutes between an accident’s occurrence and the point of first responders providing care. And I was in chemistry and thinking about how so many details go into balancing chemical equations and into the reactions constantly going on inside our bodies and into creating the chemical compounds of life, and how if you change any number of little things, it changes everything. Take away one oxygen molecule from carbon dioxide and what do you get? Carbon monoxide. Harmless to lethal with the loss of one oxygen atom. See what I mean about how fragile everything is? It all has to be balanced just right. Lastly, I was looking at my sweet Copper dog and thinking about how last summer he got really sick on us for a time and we thought we were going to lose him before he reached 2. (Happily, he will be turning three next month.)
The Lord created this world with such a delicate balance, with such intricate systems in place to keep internal and external environments alike stable, yet also with simplicity and beauty. The thought that went into creating this world, into creating us, was remarkably complex and totally perfect. We are not creatures of chance. We do not exist by happenstance. One high school anatomy class convinced me of that much. Our bodies are so so amazing, and I cannot say that enough. We were and are intentionally created and sustained beings. The Lord forms us and preserves us for the time frame he sees fit, and none of us has the insight into how long that time frame will be. That knowledge lies with the Lord, and that is why life is so precious. We just do not and cannot know how much of it we are going to get.
So basically, hug your friends and family because life is fragile and you just never know how long anyone has got left on this earth.