Monday, September 5, 2011

Hard Things

It's nearly 3 am and I cannot sleep. My mind is heavy, my thoughts constant. It's not confusion that keeps me awake but constancy. Thought after thought is running through my mind. Overload of concerns and information keep me from closing my eyes. It's not unrest exactly, but even with the residing peace in my soul, I feel burdened.

Without deciding to, my husband and I find ourselves in the position of teaching our children hard things. As a parent I find myself teaching my children something almost all the time. But sometimes the lessons are thrust upon us and not chosen. I find myself in the midst of that.

Teaching my children that mom and dad don't always have all the answers is difficult. So many things in life have simple answers, and honestly as parents, we often make decisions in the teaching process just for the purpose of giving our kids resolution. Lots of things are "black an white" enough that you can make a choice and live with it.

Right now my children are learning that not all decisions are "black and white." They're also learning that some decisions can't be made quickly. That's hard for me. I'm the kind of person who likes to lay everything out, pros and cons below each option, at least mentally, and look at the choices and go with one. But right now, things aren't all that simple, and there really isn't anything that can be done to change that. And that is a hard thing.

"Follow your heart" is a worldly wisdom that works its way into the lives of us all. Often in easy choices it can actually be wisdom. But sometimes, like now for us, our hearts have to be removed from the decision making process. That's a hard thing to teach your child. That's a hard thing fr anyone to learn, and a really hard thing to walk out.

Sometimes in life you find yourself in limbo, and that too is a hard thing. Waiting and watching is probably a better description for the goal of where we'd like to truly be, but in all honesty, it really just feels like limbo. It's hard enough to find yourself dancing there, but teaching your children to keep the rhythm of that dance, it's a hard thing.

Suddenly, I'm remembering a ride on a catamaran when I was about 12 years old. The ride on that boat felt a lot like what life feels like these days, in flux. I remember laying down in the back of the boat, my stomach turning. I was so sick. As I sat and stared at the waves it just caused my head to spin and my tummy to turn. The truth is, as I look at so much of the things about me, I feel very much the same way.

I remember my dad coming along side me. He pointed to a large island off on the horizon. He told me, "Look at the island, whatever you do, look at what isn't moving, and not at what is." I just wanted to close my eyes, but "No," he told me, "force your eyes open and look at the island. Closing your eyes will only make it worse."

My dad was right. It was a hard thing to overcome the desire to just close my eyes to the waves around me, but when I did what he said and I focused on what was not moving, I actually started to feel better. The headache began to subside and my stomach ceased to churn. The waves were no less choppy, and the ride was no more smooth, but when I fixed my eyes, I was able to not only weather the ride, but to a degree, I even found myself able to enjoy it.

It's a hard thing to teach your kids, and to remember for yourself for that matter, that when the waves are raging and the ride feels choppy, you have to fix your eyes on what is solid and unmoving. When you cannot find your own bearings you have to focus what is secure.

It's a hard thing to teach your children to fix their eyes on Jesus and to overlook the waves they do not understand. To teach them to trust in something bigger than their minds can fully grasp.

As I am finishing this up, I just clicked over to my Facebook where a young man I know has left me a scripture to encourage me. He's spoken prophetically into my life without even realizing it. And the passage is a perfect way to end this post.

"Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the Lord: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug...For the Lord will comfort Zion, He will comfort her waste places; He will maker her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; Joy and gladness will be found in it, Thanksgiving and the voice of melody."
Isaiah 51:1-3

Looking to the immovable Rock. It is a hard thing, but so much harder not to.

No comments: