Blue Spring Ride, Episode 11: What We Do With Our Time

Episode eleven of Blue Spring Ride (Ao Haru Ride) begins with a very heavy hand, as in the opening few minutes we finally see why Kou has become the way he has.  Not only do we now see the pain he went through with his mother’s illness (from lung cancer, it turns out) and death, but we also see why Kou pushes back so hard against academic studies.  When his mother was well, she would ask Kou to simply spend time with her watching television, but Kou would refuse, saying he needed to focus on studies in order to eventually make good money, apparently through which he could support his single mother.  Kou was single-minded in his determination.  Studies, at that point of his life, superseded everything, even relationships with family.

And being driven isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  A close family member of mine, a really smart guy, had planned out his young life.  He was going to return to school, open a business, and make a lot of money.  He had the energy and will and smarts to do it all.  But then, tragedy hit.  My family member’s best friend was murdered, and suddenly, all those seemingly worthy goals meant so little.  Since that time, he’s focused much more on the “little things” in life, more absorbed by family than by riches.

Kou’s story is similar, though his motivation is perhaps more pure.  He doesn’t want to make money for himself – he wants to support his mom.  It seems a worthy goal.  But the pain that life sometimes brings gets in the way, and the time that Kou took for granted went away in the blink of an eye (six months).  As Kou remembers his mom’s pleading to spend time with her, the thoughts that run through his mind are transparent – I wish I would have spent more time with her and less time hitting the books.

Ao Haru Ride

Truth told, we don’t know how much time we have in the world.  But one thing I think is true is that no matter how much time we have, it’s never enough.  Time is really so short, and unfortunately it’s usually only through tragedies that we evaluate how precious life really is.

While planning is all good and well – and often it’s absolutely vital – we can’t let our anxieties and pride about our plans get in the way of the most important things.  For Christians, the story of Mary and Martha may comes to mind:

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

– Luke 10:38-42

Christ made it clear, here, that spending time with him was more important than doing preparations and being caught up in doing what was necessary.  Martha knew what was most important, and she left everything else behind – her duties, her family – to do it.  If we aren’t careful, we’ll get caught up in worries, anxiety, pride, and the world, and become like Mary or like Kou, focused on our own plans, goals, and desires.

The trick, of course, is to be more like Mary, who really gets it.  And God-willing, it doesn’t take a tragedy for us to realign our lives.


11 thoughts on “Blue Spring Ride, Episode 11: What We Do With Our Time

  1. I tend to get very overwhelmed in my Christian walk from time to time, especially when I hear some individuals (not you) make generalizations about how “Christians” supposedly behave. “We” don’t care enough about the poor or the homeless or the unchurched or the homosexual or whatever. And when I hear those kinds of insults (I call them insults because I know there are people who do care for and love each of these groups), I suddenly feel like I’ve been burdened to be some kind of Christian superman and to do everything so that I won’t be called a bad or uncaring Christian. And yet all Mary does is sit and listen, and in some way (even as I’m sure Jesus would want her to be active in her walk), I think she’s really “got it.” I will be praying for your close family member! I wish you and this person and anyone else involved with this tragedy peace!

    1. It’s amazing how the Christian life is one of response. Godly action occurs, often, we we ARE able to just sit and listen, and when we marvel at what God has done, our heart stirs us to action. It’s too often when we start with US first, taking action for some other reason than because of the motivation given us through grace, that we things for the wrong reason, and sometimes, as Martha did, miss the forest for the trees.

      I hope you’ll continue to run the race faithfully. You’re continually an encouragement to me! As always, pass your prayer requests to me as well!

      1. Absolutely agreed, and thank you for your kind words, brother! 🙂 I am honored, and God be praised for you and for them! Truth be told, I HATE feeling guilt-tripped into “action,” and I can’t think of one time when it’s actually motivated me to get something done while actually having a Godly heart about it, no matter how the results turned out (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

        Oh, and I found this out a few weeks ago but forgot to mention it — FINALLY, PRAISE THE LORD!

        1. Oh, gosh…I love that the Ghibli movies are being released on Blu-Ray, except that I’m frequently tempted to replace my current beloved copies with these new ones! I almost broke down and did it with Nausicaa, and I may have to with Princess Mononoke and, when it comes out, Spirited Away.

          But speaking of Kiki’s, I recently introduced that movie to my kids, and they absolutely adored it!

          1. I’m glad your children loved such a wonderful movie! =)

            I actually do have a prayer request .. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the spiritual relationship I have with my parents (I’m still in their house since up until late last year, I was helping them take care of my live-in grandmother, but I cannot find work to save up money and move away … I have other potential options but am trying to exhaust all options in my current city first).

            My parents are both churched and both saved, as far as I understand … but for me, faith has at least two components, one intellectual and the other spiritual. My dad seems to lean toward the former, while my mom goes for the latter. It’s to the point where I feel like I can ask my mom to pray for anything, but not my dad … while I can discuss complex theological matters with my dad but not with my mom. And even though both are getting on in years, I would love for them to be involved in Gospel work and for me to also contribute, whether alongside them or elsewhere … but I have no idea of how to even begin the subject without coming across as awkward, because while Dad seems to have plenty of knowledge, he’s never shown an interest in actually praying with or for me (except for when we used to pray over dinner) or for my requests on friends’ behalf, which Mom has no problem with doing despite not seeming to be a “Biblical expert.”

            A scaled-…up? down? version of this is what I think I see when I watch the American Bible Challenge game show. It’s a fun show, but personally I’d rather see a production about the word of God being put into practice in the city streets of everyday life, where the show emphasizes essentially being a Godly individual. And I think there’d be a market for this and that it wouldn’t be hard to pitch–Who Wants to be a Superhero? was essentially the same as what I have in my head (minus the eliminations), just with a secular perspective.

            Thanks so much for your time.

            1. I’ll be praying for you! It certainly sounds like God is stirring something (a number of things, actually) in your heart. Thank you for sharing!

              1. Thanks so much! I just have no idea of where to actually begin without worrying whether I’ll be “wasting my time.” And I don’t mean for that to sound harsh, but I’m just so confused. And you are welcome for the sharing!

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