When we are young we believe we have the world on a string. Everything and everyone we know on the end of a string as we fling them back and forth, in and out, like a yo-yo whenever and wherever we want. We think we are the center of the known universe and all we do is right; if it is wrong it is not our fault…there must be something else somewhere else to blame. To be honest, when we are young we really do not give much thought to anything that does not involve us directly. If it is not happening to me right here and right now it does not matter – don’t want to talk about it; don’t need to think about it – it doesn’t involve me. I’ve been there in that mind-set…I expect all of us have.
For most of us, someone or something somewhere along the way messes with our world suddenly enough to break us out of our spinning playground. Sometimes having to get a job because ‘mom and dad said I had to will’ do it. Maybe you meet someone who is also the center of their own universe and you get caught in each other’s vortexes and end up colliding and ruining both your little worlds. Often it is the unexpected events that stop us in our tracks…losing someone we love; getting fired from that job that worked so perfectly with your plans; a natural disaster of some kind, love at first sight. There is always a catalyst; an event that causes us to stop and stare while what we called life spins out of control around us.
For me it was having kids. Nine months should be a good amount of time to prepare but after experiencing it twice I can honestly say three is no way to be really prepared for parenting! Seemingly out of nowhere, there was now this blob of screaming, wriggling, mess-from-both-ends that landed in my world and I was responsible for it…all of it…it could do nothing for itself. A couple of years later another one came kicking and screaming even harder and louder than the first and I knew my life as I had planned it was over! Suddenly, I did not make the rules…any of them! I couldn’t just keep hitting the snooze button because the real alarm kept screaming in the room down the hall and it was my turn to take care of it. So…I’d get out off bed at 1am, 3am…3:30am, and stumble over the toys on the floor, grab the bottle that I forgot to warm and fill the little bundle of joy with milk, throw him over my shoulder to get any bubbles out…and then head to the shower because I had filled him with too much cold milk, burped him too little, and now my back was all thrown-up on. I don’t know how many sleepless nights I went through before I realized the only variable in this scenario that was going to change was me. A baby is going to be a baby – the job is going to be the job – marriage is going to take work – friendships end sometimes and the person putting the least into any relationship sets the depth.
I cannot hold onto all the strings and keep them spinning perfectly around me…and neither can you. What we do in that moment when we learn this fact will make all the difference in our lives…it will define us. I learned that God wanted to help but I needed to ask him…and then let him; that he was the string-master and he had a tight grip on the one tied to me, so I could let loose a little and swirl around with the others in my life rather than trying to control them all as if I knew what I was doing. I began to understand that I do not have all the answers… (maybe not any of them) …but I could know the one who does and trust his plan rather than make up my own.