When we are young we feel we have the world on a string. We have everything and everyone we know on a string and we fling them back and forth, in and out, like a yoyo whenever we want. We believe we are the center of the universe and all we do is right and if it is wrong it is not our fault…there must be something else somewhere that messed with our perfect world. 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 in the right here and 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 most of us have.
For most of us, someone or something somewhere along the way messes with our world enough to break us out of this centrifuge. Sometimes having to get a job because mom and dad said I had to will do it. Maybe you meet someone who is the center of their universe and you get caught in each other’s wakes 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. There is always a catalyst; an event that causes us to stop and stare at what we called life spinning out of our control around us.
For me it was having my first kid. Suddenly, there was now this blob of screaming, wriggling, mess-from-both-ends being that landed in my world and I was responsible for it. A couple of years later another one came kicking harder and screaming even louder than the first into my world and I knew my life as I had planned it was over. Don’t misunderstand…I love my kids and do not regret one single moment, I did not make all the rules any more. 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 up and stumble over crayons and stub my toes on toys forgotten on the floor…grab the bottle that I forgot to warm and fill the little beastie with milk…throw him over my shoulder to get any bubbles out…and then head to the shower because I had filled him too much with cold milk and 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 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…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. I began to understand that I do not have all the answers… (maybe not any of them) …but I could know the one who did and trust his plan rather than make up my own.
After 52 years I’m still learning to do justly…to love mercy…and to walk humbly. This is what happens when the spinning stops…the Micah68life.