August 21, 2010

I honestly don't know

You gotta wonder where things come from in our minds.  Sometimes things just spring up without me even realizing it until an entire idea is just...there.  Pondering life's questions can be an overwhelming process.  It's times like these when I have to turn it over to God and let it go.  That's not to say that I won't pick it right back up again and try to handle it on my own.  Especially things I don't understand. 
Because I'm an engineer, I tend to think more analytically  about life.  I need answers and solutions.  However, I also need to wait on God.  So when I think something is supposed to happen and it doesn't, I need to know why.  Can I fix it?  Can I analyze the cause and effect to figure out a way to make things work?  That approach really only works in the mechanical world.  Most of our lives are not mechanical.  Sure we use machines and tools but not in the reality of personal relationships.  The "tools" involved there are our hearts and our minds.  Our physical, spiritual and intellectual selves.
Do we know who that is?  Maybe not.  Even folks who have years and years of experience may not know.  Which brings me back to the "Why?" questions that haunt me with their unanswered meanings.  What does it all mean?  I honestly don't know.

When do we face our problems and when do we run the other way?  As I mentioned I like to fix things if I can but if I'm dealing with other people, there are always unknowns.  I can only fix things if they are willing to work at it from their side, too.  Sometimes they're not.  Or they say they are but when it comes right down to it, they won't even try.  So try as I will, things are not going to change.  We can stare down an issue but there's only so much we can do until we decide to run away rather than deal with the same old things again and again.  But at least we tried.  Other things pull at people leading them in directions that contradict what they say they want.  So how do we know if they are sincere?  I honestly don't know.

Running away is often a means to protect ourselves and sometimes a way to avoid facing up to things that happen.  When we're responsible for the"things" that we're running from, we're not taking responsibility...we're cowards.  It's a weakness.  So, how do we learn to stand up and face the "things" that we run from?  Some of it is maturity.  Running is often done in the name of protecting others because we've hurt them but there are better ways than running to correct our mistakes.  Like dealing with the things that hurt.  Why is that so hard to understand?   Maybe because we don't really want to.  Maybe we really don't care as much as we thought we did.  Maybe we're just looking for a way out.  An escape?  Or maybe it's one of those "all about me things" that keep us from seeing the big picture.  We want what we want and so we run away from the things that get in the way.  But what happens if the things we run from turn out to be better than the dreams we chase?  I honestly don't know.

In the world of "me" there is no responsibility, no ownership, no leadership because if things go sour, we just back off and blame it on the Lord.  No perseverance, no concern, no determination...because it apparently wasn't meant to be. 
Well, I'm not a fatalist, I believe God has a plan.  And I believe that I have a part to play in it.  I'm not just part of the set or one of the props.  I'm a part of the story...a player...and in the story of me, I'm the star.  The stage is set...I'm given a world to live in with some parameters and guidelines to operate within; but the story isn't written line by line with every thought, word and deed in place.  I have the responsibility of developing my character...bringing it to life.  It's like a writing assignment where I'm given a scene and a set of circumstances but how the story goes is up to me.  Will my character save the day?  Lead to victory...or defeat?  Go off on a quest...follow a dream?  Run away...leave everything behind?  Is it just about me or are there other people in my story?  How do I treat them...?  Am I strong or weak?  Do I shine with a light that others can see?  Am I caring and kind...or selfish and hurtful?  Can I lead others or am I a follower?  Who am I supposed to be?  When I've developed my charater, I can play out my part.  In the story of me, do I make people happy?  Do they want to be a part of my story?  Will they feel loved, cared for, like they mean something to me or will they ask, "Why?"  I honestly don't know.

But what I do know is that who I become is all up to me not my circumstances.  Can I overcome the trials or will I allow them to turn me into something I wasn't supposed to be?  Will I look at life in a positive way or will I let it get me down...steal my joy?  Choices, decisions,, hope love?  I only get one chance to play this part so I better do my best.

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