When will I learn to stop looking for the bad stuff?
I sat around reading "Better Homes and Gardens" magazines today because last week was kind of a high blood pressure week for Baby T. and I (we're both fine), and so I've been told to chill out and keep my feet up. I looked at all of these perfect pictures of perfect houses.
And then I started looking closer at my house . . . and that one bathroom door that will not close. It just won't shut. It's been that way off and on since we moved in . . . oh, and I was in a mood to find things wrong today. So I went around hunting for cracks in the walls. Of course, in an 8 year old house, I was rewarded with several. And of course, because I wanted to be upset about something, I managed to convince myself that probably my house was going to fall down around me at any moment due to some kind of unseen, unknown foundation problem.
Hey - the foundation might not be perfect. My father in law might come out here next week and look around and tell us we have to hire somebody to come fix something massive. But he also might not. There are walls all over the world that have been standing for centuries and then some. Why is it my assumption that the walls where I am are automatically doomed to fail?
"Walk in love like breathing - for spirit, for healing. You know God loves each small thing . . . all the ones we don't see. All the ones we won't see."
My concern about my surroundings is a human experience older than dirt. It's something we've done repeatedly since we first existed. It's in parables, folk stories, the Bible, and other religious books. This constant search for what can go wrong next is part of our "fight or flight" mechanism. It's hard for us to turn it off.
But every so often we do manage to turn it off . . . and we experience something called "peace."
After a week of worrying about my blood pressure, who will cover my maternity leave, replacing an air conditioning unit at the house, and a million billion other things . . . . I am worn out. Can somebody remind me what peace feels like before I go looking for the next "wrong" thing?
This is where I need some Buddha-like acceptance of things as they are. This is where I need the writer of Ecclesiastes to come whisper in my ear: meaningless, meaningless - not because our human experience is without meaning. That's not what I'm saying. That's not what the wisdom writer was saying.
No . . . life is so meaningful that our endless searching for "the wrong" or "the broken" or "the next bad thing" will always bring us back to an empty sense of meaninglessness. If we want meaning - that rare sense of peaceful understanding - then we are going to have to remember how simple our human situation is.
"I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live." Ecclesiastes 3:12
I wrote that song out of desperation. I don't care that it took 50 tries to record it in my living room . . . or that I've never yet played it in a public show. It needed to be written.
Sometimes when I write a song it's really just for myself.
Like this song - I needed it tonight - a bit of Beethoven snatched from the hymnal and some scripture snatched from the lips of a better writer than I'll ever be. I needed to be reminded that there doesn't have to be a "next worst thing" waiting for me at all times. That's not realism. That's something else.
This blog is super ramble-y. It's after midnight. My ability to think logically might not be 100%. It was a rough week last week. And clearly this one's all about me :-) But maybe you get it, too.
Maybe you walk around your house looking for cracks in the dry wall, waiting for the next worst thing. And maybe you needed to know about the meaninglessness that makes life so meaningful.
I know that God can breathe life back into my troubled spirit - He's been doing that for years. The question isn't whether or not God will do it. The question is: Can I unclench my fists and unwind my lungs enough to let it happen?