I wrote this the other day. It’s a little melancholy…I’d been feeling it. I didn’t post it because the sheer act of writing it changed something for me, and helped me see my world a little differently. I love that about writing, about blogging in particular.
I’ll share it with you today though. It’s no less true than it was when I wrote it, even though my deep melancholy has passed. I’ve learned something this week, and this is it:
Life is a journey. Don’t despise it.
Some years ago, when my daughter was very young, I belonged to a MoPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) group that met at my church once a fortnight. My role was the welcomer, so I’d get there a little early and set up the name badges and the registration and welcome everyone as they came in. I got to see them all as they hauled snotty toddlers across the road from the car park, and listened to their stories briefly as they took a deep breath and put their “church faces” on. The stories were nearly always the same. It had been an awful morning. An awful night. No sleep. Tantrums. Screaming. And then there were the children. After a while I learned to predict it; knew even in my own family that if it was a MoPS day tomorrow then I’d be in for a rough night, a rough morning. It’s just how it happened.
The thing is though, we always had a good time. Everybody came back, no matter how stinking our mornings had been, because we all knew that when we got there it’d be okay. And it was.
Some months ago, while we were in the US, I had a different stinker of a morning, that led to a bad day, topped off at the end with a series of annoyances and a bitter disappointment. I followed that with some jet lag, some more sad things, another disappointment, some hunger, some sleeplessness, a dream let go, and yet another disappointment. By the end of that weekend I was wrung out in a way that I’d never been, lost and tired and stretched way beyond my ability to put on my “church face”. I bawled in a toilet for half an hour, then went upstairs to try and find a spare one, or at least a moment of quiet where I could find myself again. And then a miracle happened, something that may have positive ramifications in my life for quite some time. Something good.
Sometimes I think about that miracle. I wonder whether it would still have happened if I hadn’t been at a point where I was beyond my ability to cope in my own strength. Would it still have happened if it wasn’t for all those disappointments? Probably. But the point is, it happened after a stinker of a weekend.
I know the pattern now. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. There’s not many times in life when I lose my ability to bounce back, my ability to seek God in spite of my circumstances. There’s not many times when I’m so overwhelmed by what’s going on that I can’t cope with…well, what’s going on.
I haven’t coped at all well this week. I’m not bouncing back. I’m finding it hard, once again, to see past the emotions that that weekend of deep disappointment brought me. They swirl up in a way they shouldn’t, and that’s not like me.
But I know the pattern now. There’s change ahead for us, big change. I may be like the kid in the story shovelling poop to get to the pony, but nowadays when I’m feeling that kind of fear and disappointment and knowing that things are absolutely beyond me and my fragile self…I know that there’s a good thing coming.
I believe in miracles, and in the stinking times that precede them.
Interesting – I was thinking along these lines an hour ago, especially the “don’t despise life” bit.
When we despise something bad that has happened, be it a disappointment, job loss, illness…whatever…we automatically consign everything good that has happened since to the same rubbish tip.
Would other good things have happened, had things gone differently? Of course. But these are ours, these gems mixed in with the offal, and to reject them is at least ungrateful, and at worst cruel.
Life was never promised as a smooth walk to an easy ascension.
But it is the life a certain Carpenter shared with us, and through which He is willing to walk with us, to whatever end..
That’s really, really wise Andrew. Thanks for that.
Every so often I wonder why on earth I’m sharing these terribly deep thoughts. Then, sometimes, I get a reply like yours, and I remember the joy of when deep thoughts are reciprocated. God bless the blogosphere!
Thanks mate 🙂
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