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Rough, Weak

November 22, 2013

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It’s been a trying week or so. Nothing life threatening or changing, I’ve just had a lot piled on me at once. Some of it is work related, some of it is plain old emotional baggage, some if it is just the weight of added responsibility and lack of energy and time. But when we get stressed and worn down, it’s hard to keep perspective, isn’t it? We let things carry much more weight than they should, focusing on what we lack over what we already have and are blessed with. And I guess that’s the ever-going battle of our human nature…

In high school, with my freshly pressed driver’s license in hand, I set out for a drive. Back then gas was well under 2 bucks, so the leisure was far less costly. I had a destination but wasn’t quite sure what route to take. This was before GPS and smartphones – if I really wanted to get guidance I’d have to look it up on mapquest and print it out. But anyway, I took a wrong turn and had no idea where I was going. But rather than turn around, I pressed on and just let the road take me where it would, and trust I’d get there somehow. It was kind of stressful having no idea where I was or where I was headed, and there was a strong possibility I was wasting an enormous amount of time. However, it ended up being a beautiful winding country road, where a gradual hill leads to a clearing that provides a skyline view of the area and eventually, I found myself in a neighboring city amongst familiarity once again, allowing me to get to my intended endpoint. Things worked out after all.

So where am I going with this? I’m personally bugged when people say “everything happens for a reason”, or that all of our mistakes and our self-inflicted crap “is in God’s plan”. I don’t really subscribe to that idea. We have to remember that we made choices along the way, some good and some blatantly and knowingly bad. And I’m not sure that just because we experience our life and time in a linear perspective, we can force that same limited dimension on our Faith or our Creator. Not to get into theological and philosophical nuances and debate, but I don’t think God necessarily plans or wants us to eff up or go through garbage and pain. Sure, I get it – sometimes we have to cause it’s the only way, but I don’t believe God ever really wants us to suffer.

When we screw up, it’s on us. When we get hurt cause we’ve been reckless, that’s on us. When we hurt others through our selfishness, that’s on us and I’m pretty sure God didn’t will any of that. That wasn’t “the plan“. But of course, it’s a broken world and sometimes shit happens that is completely out of our control too. But I’ve found it most important to remember that whether we took the “ideal” route or the wrong one, or we got forced into a hellacious detour akin to Northern Virginia traffic on a rainy evening, God is there.

During that drive back in high school, I had a destination, but I messed up and took a route that was far longer and initially confusing than it needed to be. But in the end, there was beauty in that mistake. OK, this may be a loose metaphor but the gist of it is: in due time, God can make all things beautiful. I truly do believe that. All of our mistakes, all of imperfections, all of our rottenness… it can be restored – but I recognize that for much of it, I’m only in this position cause I screwed up somewhere along the way. And Lord knows that right now, my state of mind, my thoughts, and much of my actions are ugly as Hell. So for that, I’m sorry; but I’ll do what I can to let Him redeem it in due time. And for now, in Faith, all I can do is hold on.

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