Today is all you have.

I think this is going to be a serious post....I write from brain to keyboard, so was all set to start tip tapping away at what was a pretty good day. I did not do a workout today because it's my rest day. I have girl scouts on Wednesdays so I make a point to take that day off, its from 5-630 pm. Prime workout time for me. I am feeling good. I had a great day, so what's with the melancholy. I don't know...it's not really melancholy...it's more like a sense of how finite and fleeting life is, how precious life is.
I have always wanted to be wise, ever since I was little and read about King solomon. God offered him anything and King solomon said that all he really wanted was wisdom. God granted him wisdom and everything else too. Ecclesiastes is my favorite book. It is widely believed to have been written by Solomon. Mostly wisdom comes through painful experiences, I think parts of my childhood were in response to my prayers for wisdom. Don't get me wrong, I am not blaming God for the actions of others...but I do believe we are placed in situations because God, having created us, knows what our souls yearn for, and so he allows us to begin our race where we will benefit the most. I spend alot of time trying to understand people and God. That's why for so many years, the idea of being a nun appealed to me. Yes, you have to pray alot, but you would get to spend all those hours reading, praying and thinking and spending time with God, and having God spend time with you.
I have a running joke with a good friend...She used to (and still does)pray for patience. I told her if you pray for patience, God will Give you practice. practice makes patience, And he does.
I wrote about my childhood, and I know that it was painful. But what could I expect when I prayed for wisdom. You learn more through loss than you do through gain. I know many people don't believe in God, or don't believe God answers prayer. I think he answers it in exactly the way we need him to, barely ever in the way we want him to.
Take my husband for instance. I prayed for years for my marriage to be restored, and it was. It was then that I had to accept that my prayer had been answered. Sometimes when God gives us what we ask for, it is when a huge test has begun. God knew that my big weakness was my sense of justice. There had to be justice for the wronged. God knew, that for me to have the marriage I wanted, I had to give up my yearning for vindication, I had to let go of being right. I had to forgive and let go of my bitterness. Holding on to your position as victim is a pretty heady thing. You have leverage over the other person. You have the upper hand. Forgiving someone means laying down the lever. That lever means that all the inequity in your relationship that for so long was on their side, now is on yours...you want to exploit it, get some of your own back. Extract your pound of flesh, let them feel the uncertainty and the pain. You think you are wrestling with the other person, your nemesis...when in fact, you are wrestling with God. You want God to give you "justice'....but God already saw the whole situation, knows what was needed, and acted accordingly. He is polishing you. He is molding you. He is giving you exactly what was needed...what you prayed for.
It just didn't go the way you thought it would.
Here's the problem. At that point I was wise enough to know that what I wanted to do wouldn't get me the relationship I wanted. I knew the hatred was my way of coping with the pain of disappointed hopes.
Searching out wisdom has a down side.
You can't throw the kind of all encompassing, empassioned, footstomping, mother- of- all, hissy fits you would like to throw. Where You want to bury the other person in the piles of anger, and bitterness and condemnation and recrimination.
You wish you could,but You KNOW better.
Like my mom's second husband. The abuser, who was abused. I figured the whole thing out one night while I was lying in bed, finally ready to really look at it through God's eyes, not my own. What it means to love like Christ loved. That if I ever talked to him again, I should try unconditional love. Love that he won't be able to give back, that I don't expect back. Why? Cause he has never had it. As a child, he was abused physically and mentally. As an adult, he abused...others and he self abused through alchohol, divorce and self isolation. Then he reaped what he sowed by recieving the anger and pain from the children he raised. However, God allowed me to see what was needed. He put me here. I prayed for wisdom and that is what he gave me. If and when I talk to him again, I should extend only love. Like round robin. As a child of God, I have experienced unconditional love, so I can give it.
When we respond to the infliction of pain by causing pain of our own, nothing is healed. When we respond in love, healing begins for everyone. I used to think this was weakness. Someone hits you, hit back harder. Now I know a loving response is the hardest thing there is to do. It is easy to strike back in anger. Hard to find some humility, turn our cheek and walk away...or even better than walking away, stay and care.
I am not talking about staying in an abusive relationship. I am talking about the cycle of violence in this world. The compounding pain, and the lack of compassion. I am no where near where I would like to be as a person. I lack humility, I lack a good deal of wisdom, I lack compassion many times, I lack patience. I am afraid to pray for these things, because I know if I do, God will give me practice. I have put growing spiritually on the back burner for a bit to grow physically. In a year or two, when I am brave enough, I will pray for these things again. Or God may simply get tired of waiting and begin on his own, who knows. Every day is a gift, today felt like a gift. Maybe this is for you...whoever you are, maybe that's why.
Talk to you tomorrow,


Anonymous said...

Compassion has been one of the greatest things I've learned in my life. Rather than judging people, having compassion for them goes a long way. And giving it invites it back to me and my own struggles. Lovely post.

Roxie said...

If, and it's a big if, we can learn to let go of the resentment and judgment, it's the biggest gift we can give ourselves. Unfortunately, I keep putting it down and then picking it back up, but I am hopeful that it will stay down.

Great post, Chris.

Running for a Cause said...

Chris- I always love your posts. I shared at my weight loss challenge your post on your "whys" and people loved it.
This post makes me want to go to church again. I am not very religious but I love the kind of people you find at church. Caring and thinking about what is morally right.

Dani @ PFL said...

Very powerful!

Christine Jeske said...

I completely agree with this. And I too, am afraid to get "practice" at this time in my life and so have not been praying for those things. I know I need them though, and we need to have faith that God never gives us more than we can handle. I guess it's just humbling to have to give him the reigns. Hiding from him doesn't stop life though. Thanks so much for helping me remember that. ♥

South Beach Steve said...

Chris, this is a powerful, powerful post. A lot of wisdom is shared here. Thank you.

Hanlie said...

You really have been blessed with a lot of wisdom and insight. And I know the price was high... Thank you for being a shining light to all of us.

Katie J ♥ said...

I am moved by your heartfelt posts. Thank you for sharing and being so honest and raw with us.