Musings

Is there anything out there besides Duck Dynasty this week? As fascinated as I have been by the uproar, I’ve got a lot of other things on my mind. A lot.

Like, why does the young one waste more time and energy not doing the things she’s supposed to do than she would if she would just do the things she’s supposed to do? Then it would be done and she could do the things she wants to do. OR she cleans and takes care of anything except the one thing I’ve told her needs to be done. And why do I get the bad guy stare down when I let her know that I know that she hasn’t done what she’s been told and that she won’t get what she wants until she does what she’s supposed to do?

And why do the Redskins suck so royally this year? We can’t even win against losers. We’re, like, the loseriest of the losers. Which only makes me wonder if there would be such a name controversy for the team if it were like the good old days of Jack Kent Cooke and Joe Gibbs? There are native Americans on both sides of the equation so I won’t wade any further into those waters, except to say if they did change the name, maybe they should become the Washington We Probably Won’t Win Another Game This Year Unless We Play a Team That Cares Less Than We Do. That’s kinda long though.

For whatever reason, there’s also a memory rolling around my head of a time when I was a junior or senior in college. I was at a party, hanging with my friends, drinking some beer—a little past tipsy but not quite outright drunk. Some guy I kinda knew came up to me and pointed to my necklace.

“What does that mean to you?”

“Huh?” I looked down to see the cross I knew he was pointing at. Ruh roh. Dude, why you gotta call me out? Good feeling gone.

“No, I’m serious. I really need to know what that means to you.” He was not being accusatory. He actually seemed to be searching for something.

“It means everything to me.” Could I feel more low right now?

To be honest, I wasn’t firmly decided about my faith at that time. I mean, I knew what I believed to be true and it was everything to me, but, at the same time, I was having a hard time choosing to follow it.

Looking back, I can see some reasons why I was wishy-washy. Stuff like I was young and simply wanted to have fun, especially after enduring some pretty bad health for a while. There were also some wounded emotions type of junk that I didn’t know were there at the time—that all was to rear its ugly head and be dealt with later. There was a dash of expectations about how I was supposed to act, which, being a life-long chaplain’s kid, all kinds of people gave me their expert input on. But mainly, I can’t lie, I wanted to have some fun.

Which somehow reminds me of the time that my older daughter asked why I got on her case so much and never got mad at the young one. A slight exaggeration, but she really wanted to know.

“Well, there are things in you that need to be corrected that she doesn’t have a problem with. I see things in you that will hurt you as you grow older if we don’t give you good direction. Same with her. If you’ll notice, I get on her case for things she does that you don’t do. It’s just different things—I don’t have to correct her for what I have to address in you and vice versa.” Now if you’d stop being so stubborn…

We are all in different places with different traits and tendencies. Hopefully, as we walk along our journey in life, we learn to get rid of the things that harm us, put off others’ unrealistic expectations, and figure out how to use with good purpose the gifts and strengths we have been given.

Unfortunately, along the way, we will refuse to do what we’re told, go through a sequence of stunning losses, and mess up. We’ll probably face some kind of consequence for those things too. Thankfully, in time, we can grow and learn and move on.

We all struggle with something. There is not one person out there that has it all figured out. But rather than becoming embittered, hopefully, eventually, our own disobedience, losses and disappointments will teach our heart how to look with love on others who haven’t gotten through yet. Admittedly, that’s not always easy, but it’s part of the path God uses to get us to healing and wholeness and to shape us to be more like Him.

The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. Psalm 145:14

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