My tongue is in my hand…

This and That

Posted on: September 26, 2008

We are given, throughout life, so many prescriptions, equations, and instruction manuals for how to live life and get what we want out of it.  We come to think that this plus this equals that without fail.  We develop a false sense of control about our lives and our abilities to control them based on our actions and decisions. Things are supposed to happen because we did this or that.  People are supposed to do what we expect and want of them because we did this or that.  And when it doesn’t work out, we get so mad and disappointed, with life, with God, and with people.

But there are too many variables to ever be able to predict the future based on the present.  Sure, you can make your best guess and quite possibly, because many things are predictable, you may be right.  But the big stuff, the life and love and faith on the line kind of stuff, that’s the stuff that will detour and explode while you stand there going over and over in your head how you did this and that, how can this be?  Or, “If only, if only, you had done this and that, this never would have turned out this way!”  Because of course, we control the whole universe with our utilization of this and that.  “That’s what they told me!”  “That’s what I was told!”  “No, I never thought that there is some bigger picture that I can’t possibly understand because, dammit, I’ve got this and I’ve got that and that’s all I thought I’d need.”

And I am very much including the things we learn through organized religion.  We are too often given plans to follow, we too often tell children simplistic if-then statements and fail to follow up in adolescence and adulthood about the messiness of faith.  About the necessity to let go of expectation.  About things I’ve mentioned before (The world within us) about how no matter much someone plays by the rules they can still lose it all or get burned.

I don’t think it’s that we shouldn’t hope or do our best.  I don’t think it’s that we shouldn’t make careful decisions.  I just think we need to know that the outcome has a lot of variables and we need to be okay with that.  Just be okay with it and go from there.  Or, if it’s really bad, really gut-wrenching, grieve it.  Grieve it compeltely.  And make a little place in you to carry it with (because you will, so it might as well have it’s own little place), and keep going.

There are only two options.  In or out.  Keep moving or stop moving.  Believe or don’t.  Love or don’t.  Hope or don’t.  For all the shades of gray, it’s really just two things.  This or that.

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1 Response to "This and That"

There is only the now. We are embers on a cord of Time.

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