Thursday, February 17, 2011

The path less traveled

I love this saying. This path has changed for me many times in the seasons of my life. I expect that it will again and again. Currently the path I am on, is one of redemption. I want so badly to be a good example to my kids, a good wife, a good friend. I have failed at all of those things. And mostly because I took the easier path-the one that's more traveled.

I am reminded of the famous words of Lt. Col. Frank Slade from his 1992 Oscar award winning performance in "Scent of a Woman"

Now I have come to the cross-roads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew, but I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard.

I was 22 years old when I saw that movie. I thought I understood what he meant. I had no idea. Today, at 40, I understand. I, too, have taken the wrong path at times in my life-knowing exactly what the right path was. And yes, it was a lot easier. And now, I am dealing with the aftermath. Oh, there is always a consequence. I just have to keep at it, and stay on my path...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Why does it taste so bad?

I have never really questioned why remedies (medicines, shots, etc) taste so awful. They are just a means to an end. Vaccines, innoculations, surgeries, dental work. It all hurts-and for the same purpose: getting better. Another application, in my life specifically, would be exercising. Certainly it does not always feel good-while you are doing it-not even after all the time...but in time, results will favor those that stick through the pain. Childbirth is a another great example. An epideral is a great alternative to labor pains-but it sure isn't painless or pleasant. Often, trading a short term, painful, remedy, for long term sustainable results is just the path you have to take.

So, this is starting to sound like one of Paul's papers for his MBA..that's a whole other blog. But getting a degree/diploma/certificate is also something that can painstaking and slow-and void of short term gains. What am I getting at? Life is constantly reminding me that when I am faced with a tough situation-especially something rather painful, I need to hold on, have a little patience, perserverance and tolerance. Most of the time-if I survive, I will be better for it. One big paraphrase for "that which does not kill me makes me strong"

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bible Study

Okay, I will admit, the idea of going to Bible study did not exactly appeal to me before. That is, before the first one I went to-which was last fall (Aug 2010). It was with Beth Moore, and we studied the book of Daniel. Honestly, I went because my good friend Carrie told me she was doing it, and I felt more comfortable going with someone I know.

Carrie is one of those people that I just enjoy every minute with, and even when I feel like the worst person in the world, I just believe that her heart has room for me. I just don't feel like she would ever judge me or look down on me-even if she knew the worst. And it's hard to explain why. When she and I met, I remember thinking we were the most unlikely of friends. Our kids (her daughter, Grace, and my Jackson) were in kindegarten together. She seemed a bit reserved and even a little unfriendly. I realized quickly she was just shy and unsure of herself like the rest of us. Ever since that year, I have been lucky enough that our kids have been in the same class, so she and I have been able to grow closer and closer. And it always feels so simple/easy-she is just a kind soul, a good spirit and a warm heart. I love that she is as sensitive as I am ( I am certain she is as much of a crier in movies and sad stories), and she loves her kids and is committed to being a Christian-I look up to her. And even with all the things we have in common, we are so different as people. It's what makes our friendship that much richer I guess. I just love her. In any case, I would never have done the bible study without her, but I am infinately grateful to her.

I felt so intimated-even with Carrie (my comfort zone) there with me. I don't know the bible that well, I have not always been a good Christian. I looked around the room and saw all these beautiful people who seemed to be such good Christians. But as we progressed, and I listened to what Beth Moore had to say, it occurred to me that I was right where I was supposed to be. In fact, when Paul asked me one day why I was going, and what was I trying to prove-or fake even. I thought to myself-this is exactly where the broken go. Bible study isn't for people who are perfect, and if it were, no one would be there. Oh, I'm sure those lofty, judgemental types are there. But I know they don't get as much out of it as people like me. About five or six weeks into it, I sat there and realized that maybe 10 or 20 years ago, I would not have understood a lot of this. That is, not enough had happened in my life for me to understand the types of trials and pains that Beth described. The kind that Daniel endured, the kind that Christ endured. Beth talked about the down times in her life-times when she made mistakes. When I was much younger, I would have looked at my 40 year old self and thought-what a total idiot and a loser. But know, I understand that I have lived long enough to see both sides of life. I am just like everybody else; with all my imperfections. And there is still a place where I can go and feel like it's all okay. So often, I will be in a room filled with people and think-if these people really knew the things I have done....I don't even deserve to be here. I just feel like the worst person around. But then I remember these 2 or so hour sessions I have been to, and it feels like I am worth saving. Like other people might even feel like that too.

Am I the Bible study "type" No...I am not. But then, no one really is. And I love when I am there. I love hearing Beth Moore talk about human beings, and how none of us has it all together all the time. It is a journey. We will have good days and bad days. We will be tested. I know that a lot of the tough times in my life come along souly to remind me that it is worth it-I am worth it. And I just have to keep on going.....