Monday, January 13, 2014
Why Choose The Bad Stuff?
"Choose this day who you will serve..."
Out of Tom, Naomi and myself, I am, today, the only person in my little family who's sitting in the United States. This is a first for me, ever, and this feels odd.
But it's ok. Tom's teaching South Africans how to run their soon-to-be power plant and Naomi's new band is entertaining folks on a cruise ship near Jamaica (in February, she'll perform in Switzerland!). Both are living their dreams-come-true and, even though I'm home alone, I'm thrilled for them.
It's all rather like what I read yesterday in Prairie Venture: "A man has got to be the kind of man he is."
Of course, I could pull some stupid, foolish things like:
I could wish Tom had stayed home. Allow my head to miss him terribly and wish he'd never gotten this (silly old) job which takes him away for days or weeks.
I could despise the day Naomi moved to Nashville and regret the way Tom and I encouraged a teenage Naomi to follow her music dreams. Be all, "What were we thinking?" about it.
I could mope on the red couch, worry about Tom and Naomi's safety and meditate upon the thousands of miles separating us. I could feel sorry for myself and whine a lot to Daniel and Sammy The Cats.
And I could use this time to accomplish nothing, to not get caught-up with decorating, cleaning, emails, exercise, shopping and to not have one bit of fun. View staying home as a bad thing and cling to the ol' 'I can't help it' lie.
But why? Why wish things were different? Why desire what God doesn't want for me? Why resent His rewards to Tom and Naomi? Why be mean to myself when I could pick delight and fun and gratitude, instead?
And yet I watch people do that all the time here in Blogland, Facebook and in Real Life. I see them sabotage their own peace of mind.
I watch grown-ups throw tantrums because Life didn't turn out the way their teenage or early-20's head told them it should and now they've chosen to stay mad. For, like, forever, unknowingly welcoming an eerie type of blindness which keeps them from seeing possible miracles behind unopened doors.
But oh my... Life is way, way too short to waste a couple decades of it. I, myself, blew a few years and refuse to waste more.
So today if you knocked on my pretty red door would you find me a tear-stained, mopey, bedraggled old mess? Uh, no.
You'd see me and Jesus and Grace and The Cats having a glorious time imagining all the things we can do with our freedom. I have a car in the garage on a Monday, for heaven's sake! That's a rare occurrence around my house. I can go anywhere beneath this glorious sunshine or stay home and communicate with you or paint a wall or read or Netflix Chuck and Crossing Jordan (adore the characters of both shows) or bake a coffee cake or feed the birds or -- well, it's endless...
... Endless only, though, as my ability to stay close to God and my attitude's ability to see what is real. And how good to celebrate it all every moment while (only appearing) home alone.
My favorite Christmas gift from Tom was the book, Walking On Alligators. It is daily, amazing inspiration and instruction for this writer. Greatly appreciated.
Here's just one of the special quotes from it:
"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about."
... Charles Kingsley