Tuesday, March 16, 2010


A few weeks ago while I was on my 2nd downtown document journey, I opted to use the GPS. I made a comment to a friend before I left that I hoped it would not misguide me. She replied that it could always recalculate. For some reason that word stuck with me on that morning--it seems that is the story of my life. "Recalculate." I mentioned this to my dear friend, who then said that is the story of all our lives. And many times we are so thankful or it. I went on my errand, but that thought stayed behind.

In the days that followed, this became so true and profound to me--this brief and humorous exchange between us. In my smallish circle of reference, life took unexpected turns. There was a lost job and the uncertainty that follows such news, there were children in the hospital or needing procedures and we took turns sitting together in waiting rooms. There were tears and doubts and questions and weariness. While those things did not necessarily end badly--there was a new job, children went home and got better (well, sort of), life went on--but that word kept coming back to me. "Recalculating."

Looking back, there are so many instances in my life where this has been the case. Many times I am grateful that God saw the need to redirect the path on which I was wandering. However, there are other times, moments, fleeting glances, where I have to stop and ask myself how I arrived at that particular place. In a literal example, during my downtown trip my errant GPS took me directly to the lovely area where the Crazy Horse Gentleman's Club is located. Yep. Had to turn around in their parking lot surrounded by the nice pink building lined with neon. Excellent. But often in a figurative sense, we ask ourselves which ridiculous map got us to this location in our lives. This detour was not on the itinerary we had for the day or the week or the year or at all. But we press on because there is no other choice but to relinquish our spirits in defeat, and we know that is not a viable option. So we adjust our expectations and our ability to meet them, and we go forward.

This morning I was reading the story of Zechariah and the birth of his son, John. For some unknown reason, I was again struck by the fact that our best-laid plans are often not what God has in mind. I doubt that good old Zechariah planned to be mute for 9 months, nor could he have foreseen the burdens his son, the locust-eating messenger, would bear to carry out his destiny. However, as he began to prophesy over this child he proclaimed, "And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord." (Luke 1:76.) Wow. We think we are under a lot of pressure. I began to think of my own children and the expectations that I have for their futures. Somehow, in the day to day muck and mire, I have forgotten that they have an eternal mission to fulfill--that I do, as well. Am I doing what I can to help them reach whatever potential they may have--that we may have as a family? Or am I just wading through and surviving, unaware of missed opportunities for all of us? Zechariah had to rethink things, and I am certain this altered his course. And we are asked to do the same.

Sometimes these recalculations are beyond our control. Sometimes that is very hard to endure. But then there are moments, like today, when I realize that purposefully redirecting my expectations, my focus, my daily "stuff".... might not be such a bad thing after all. And I am deeply grateful to know that if I come upon another detour, another waiting room, another day where things seem hazy, I will not be travelling alone. Perhaps with that knowledge, I can find my way.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post!

    Cracking up at the Gentlemen's club, lol!