Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Letting Go

You know the saying among praying people--"never ask for patience," well, I do believe it is a gutsy move,as of course whatever you receive from that point on will likely test you to the breaking point.

I kind of stumbled on a thought...the only time I deal with impatience is when I have an unrealistic expectation. If I leave the house with fourteen minutes to get to work, on what is usually a sixteen minute drive, expecting to sail through the entire ride with nary a tap of the brakes, what do I get?  Multitudes of red lights, moving vans, young men and ladies (cough!) sauntering across the street...and why? Because my expectation was irrational. Everybody who lives in South Philadelphia knows that the only time you have the road to yourself is during a snowstorm.Or, if I go to work, praying for a quiet shift, sometimes it happens, but when I expect it, not usually! It is almost like presumption. I want something or someone to be a certain way, so I believe that by the force of my will, presto! The universe will comply. And then when it doesn't, my thoughts go " well! WHAT is going on here? Sort of a tyrannical point of view, huh? And quite ridiculous. God must have many a chuckle on my behalf.

There are a couple other people on the earth besides me. They all are going about their lives. God loves all of humanity, and He wants us to reflect that love. If I am motoring through my days, checking off my list of How Things Need to Be, maybe I am not seeing what He wants things to be for me and the people He gives me to encounter. As you may guess, most of my Encounters are the same every day. They live under my roof. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

But I am beginning ( perhaps I mentioned before my slowness) to see just a bit, that to be patient means to let go. Sure, expect your child to obey -but not to obey perfectly, or - expect the  motorist on the road to stop at the stop sign -but  be a little cautious anyway; thereby letting go of the frustration that ensues when everything does not go swimmingly.

The mandate to love is for all, but you know it is more difficult not to have expectations for the people we love. Most expectations are pretty self serving. When I don't expect my husband to, say, make the bed, and he does,then it is a lovely gift. If I expect it, then, it is like," whatever!, he did what he was supposed to do". Yawn.

I hope to pay greater attention to my own effect on the people around me. I have a few pro life speaking engagements coming up this fall, and it is important to me to approach this with extreme humility. I know that many in my audience will have had their lives touched by abortion in varying ways. I have to convey some very hard truths, but do it in a way that leaves room for hope and a knowledge that God loves them and is on their side.

Because He has been on my side throughout my entire life, even when I definitely did not live up to His expectations. He alone really is the only one who has the right to have any, since He gave us our lives in the first place. And ironically, He has been let down by us throughout history, and even more ironically, He freely forgave us and came to earth and died, to illustrate what loving means.

Here is my grandson, Kaden, sporting his latest ensemble. He is a die hard individualist. His mother (my eldest daughter), last April,  was carrying out her duty as a mother of a two year old and potty training him.  He is coming along nicely, now, but at that time, he was dead set against any active potty training maneuvers. Like sitting on the thing. We could read him all the potty training books in the world, which, incidentally, have come a long way since my days. "Everybody Poops" and "Where's the Poop?" I kid you not.
His parents even got him an Elmo potty that talks. During my visit, it mostly served as a playground ball holder. Elmo had a blue ball in his face pretty much the entire time I was there. We did get Kaden to sit a few times, but it was under protest, and nothing "happened" until he got up.

After I came home, I was told that nobody in the house was even allowed to look in the direction of the Elmo potty, or Kaden would run over and kick it! Poor Elmo. That is how sure he was about What was going to be Happening in regards to that subject.
As I mentioned, he has made his peace with Elmo in potty form, and at least while at home, things are, well, moving along.

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