Here we go!
So, I’ve had a lot of time to think about the future lately. In less than two months, I will be 32. No wife, no children, and probably the worst thing about it is being that I have no idea when, or even if, those things are in the cards for me. The thought of getting old is a very real and intimidating realization and to be quite honest, it isn’t one that I can realistically come to terms with and be happy.
Everyone ages. Not everyone does so gracefully. Not everyone is susceptible to the ravages that will inevitably come with it. I’m not necessarily concerned with how I age; however, what I am concerned with is more with what I would lose because of it. It’s safe to say that we all will lose our faculties or talents at some point. Whether it be our mental faculties, physical talents, or what have you. I can live with that, or live with knowing that their absence is beyond my perceptive ability… hint… hint… Alzheimer’s Disease… please, leave me be…
But, the one thing I don’t think I could live without is knowing that the one thing that drove me to action… the thing that inspired hope and liberated me to pursue things in spite of anything that said to me… that child that we all were at one point… the one that thought a blanket and a box made a spaceship or that a mask and a cape made us a larger than life superhero… if that person were to disappear over time, I’d die as a shell of the person I could have been. What’s worse is knowing that over that time, I had a chance to do something about it…
I don’t feel like that child has left me… well, not yet anyway. Or, if he had gone away, he decided to come back because there was a time where he was gone and I had no idea what to do or where to go. I can admit that for a while there, I was lost and you could probably go as far as say that I was dead. Maybe not in a physical sense; but, in every other sense of the word. There was no drive, ambition, or will to continue. There was no reason.
As far as the image goes, it is from the lyric music video to “Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay. On a tangent, it is an excellent song and I’d recommend it to anyone. It’s a great listen especially if you’re the type to appreciate the message but I digress…
But, what it represents is that kid we all carry with us. As we get older, we feel like this child becomes such a burden. As we get older, the mandate that it carries will supersede all of the things that we wish that kid could accomplish. We feel that being older means being more responsible with ourselves. Whether that be in our social, professional, or family lives or even in how we pursue our interests in those arenas. Sure, I can agree with the concept that the older we get, our temperament is adjusted to reflect the experience that time spent grants us. But, as I’ve come to really understand what it means to really “grow old,” so to speak, is that how we articulate the passage of time is merely a human construct. Sure, I’m 31 years old and I believe that I am old. There are people that are older than me… but, man I tell ya… there are in an age that defies the term “prime of their lives.” How, I can’t say for sure but I can say this: Getting older does not mean that their child grew old with them. Collectively, they are as youthful as they had ever been and they fought Father Time like hell and got him to walk away because they were able to demonstrate that no matter what, there was nothing he could do to make that child succumb to the ravages of “growing old.”
When I realized that being youthful was less of a talent and more of a partnership, I began to really appreciate why that song sticks with me like it does. If you’ve listened to the song and you understand the message, great… I’d love for anyone who reads this to share their insights with me. But, the message to me extends beyond the apparent and into the obscure. To me, it is a little tune and an echo… but that little tune and an echo is what brings that child to life. Or, what brings Life period…
Maybe the future isn’t such a terrible and terrifying place after all. Being 32 with no wife and no child is one thing. But, being 32 with no wife, no child, and no youth to keep me honest… I’m not sure I could look at life as something worth doing because I feel like that kid of mine is awake and shaking his head and wondering to himself, “What happened, Kev?”
Instead, maybe it is more about how long I can keep that kid dreaming and wondering, “What adventure are you going to go on next, Kev? What can I dream up for you this time?”
I don’t know, buddy. You were always the type to turn something so Parisian into something more… tangible.
“Well, you got time, Kev. And, you got me. You haven’t let me down yet. You have gone astray but you haven’t let me down.”
Maybe so… maybe not. But hey, who honestly knows? Maybe I’m dreaming of him or he is dreaming of me and how one day I’ll make it to Paris.
At least that kid is dug in like an Alabama tick…
P.S: “Paris” is a good song too. Just saying…
Before I get into the mix of all this, I’m going to be pretty open. There are some things that I’ve really wanted to talk about lately. Some of which are pretty heart heavy. So, who knows what I’ll really want to say. Maybe I’ll figure it out when I say it.
Who is familiar with the Greek legend of Pandora? For those who don’t know, according to legend, she was the first woman created by the Greek gods. She was created by Hephaestus and Athena as punishment for Prometheus going rogue and imbuing man with the knowledge of fire. But, that didn’t stop the Hephaestus and Athena, along with the others, from granting Pandora their qualities and traits.
We too, are a lot like Pandora.
We are built of earth and water. But, for the purpose of this entry, we are essentially made up of dirt and blood. The dirt that is our indiscretion, evil, and injustice alongside blood, which is the life we’ve taken because of those injustices. Despite being possession of the best intentions and most endearing qualities that we could have been graced with, the fact of the matter remains: We are the sum of our parts. There’s no escape from design.
Much like her, it feels like punishment to be made up such things. Honestly, who plays in the dirt? What appeal lies in building something out of it? One could say that they have no other choice and for a great many of us, there isn’t much in the way to dissuade us from agreeing with them.
Personally, my hands have been filthy. There is so much garbage that I’ve dabbled in and I’m not proud of it. Even worse, there are things that have tainted me on so many levels, I’m not even sure how I’ve managed to find them again. I’m not sure if even I know what it is I’m truly looking for or if I’ll ever find them again. I’ve been hit time after time with no relent and I’ve really wondered why I’m here and what it is I’m supposed to be doing.
I suppose that I’m rather fortunate to be in the company and protection of some people who know more than I do.
Ever since December, I’ve had struggles with these three things: Love, forgiveness, and how to reconcile my storied history with the unwritten future. These three are the biggest perils to me and try as I might to contain them, they continue to elude me. The real bummer is that in my effort to capture these things, everything that I’ve managed to keep a lid on manages to flee.
The further along the story goes, the more and more I find that Pandora and myself have a similar tale.
According to the legend, Pandora was offered by Zeus to Prometheus’ brother Epimetheus as his bride. As a wedding gift, Pandora was offered a pithos, or a jar if your Greek is rusty by Zeus himself. Intrigued at what it contained, Pandora opened it and released all of the evils into the world.
Little do we understand just how much we have in common with our dear friend Pandora.
When we offer ourselves to others, we give them a gift. That gift being everything we were, are, and could ever hope to be. The things that make us special, unique, and give us the power to positively affect the world; however, along with those things are our individual perils that can put everything at risk. Try as we might, there’s nothing that we can do from others opening that gift and letting all of those things loose upon those for whom which we care.
In a frantic, Pandora quickly tried to close the jar (which is “pithos” in Greek) with all of the perils and evils voraciously escaping and forever being a pestilence and plague upon mankind.
We too, share Pandora’s urgency when trying to contain our perils and evil. We desperately try to keep those things contained when we realize what they are capable of doing and the damage they can inflict upon others. The inherent guilt and shame of being responsible for releasing the essence of those things can be overwhelming. Who wants to walk around with that burden? I sure as hell don’t. I don’t think Pandora did, either. I guess that’s why she was so determined to put the lid back on that jar.
To end the story, Pandora did re-seal the jar. Much to her chagrin, all but one of the perils that would now go on to plague mankind forever was contained. That one “evil spirit” was called hope. Depending on what version of the story you read, it is implied that she either was able to keep it captive or it stayed of its own volition. Either way, it is the singular blessing to ease the burden of being what we are.
Me personally, hope was very much so fleeting. I thought it was gone. I thought it fled away with no chance of being caught. It was so disheartening because in spite of everything that we have to offer, whether it is a means to incite peril or protection, hope is the one thing that we must not lose. Everything else can be damned. So long as we don’t lose that, everything else is negotiable.
The point is that there are going to be times when we feel like Pandora did. There will be times when we let all hell break loose and find ourselves trying to contain all the havoc we’ve wrought upon the world and in our own lives. But, the one thing Pandora did that we have to do as well is not let everything escape. We have to hold on to hope. We have to protect that at all costs.
Because if there is a moral to this Greek legend, I find it to be that hope is the most costly thing to lose. Even in the midst of that has gone awry and the price tag that comes along with it, I find it even more costly if hope is lost as well.
I suppose I’m fortunate to have been able to hang onto it for so long. Even in the echoes of legends long since departed.
As well as something just like this…
When I woke up today, the last thing I honestly wanted to do was reflect on points in my life that had come and gone. However, I was reminded by an awesome colleague and even better friend of this:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NIV)
It really resonated with me because of something my driving instructor at Exotics Racing in Las Vegas said to me. He said that he wouldn’t have been telling me I was doing good things if I hadn’t been. For a long time, people telling me I had been doing things well just to be nice. Brandon, my instructor, also said that he had been around way too long to tell people constructive things for the sake of being constructive. Looking back at it all now, it really makes me wonder just when I had been doing good things or just being told I was doing good things. However, that is something for another day.
What I really wanted to get off my chest is that we seem to only really encourage or impart words of affirmation only when we’re on the journey. We feel that the need to encourage one another only has punch when we’re about to do something important, risky, or unknown to us. I can agree that those three instances can be critical when it comes to being encouraging. However, it is disheartening to see it practically in only those three instances.
“For the most part, we have to work on small things right now. So, if we’re having to work on small things after six laps, that’s pretty good. It’s a car you don’t know. It’s a track you don’t know. It’s a driving style you don’t know. After six laps of doing pretty good… getting to where you’re working on small things, I think that’s pretty good, right?” -Brandon, my instructor
Halfway into the experience and to have this spoken to me by an experienced driver was… for lack of a better way to put it, encouraging! Here I am… no competitive racing skills or experience under my belt and just there for the sake of getting to drive a $120,000 sports car… to be told, by an experienced driver, that is what I would need to work on to progress? That’s what we all want! We want to be naturally in a position to have to make subtle adjustments instead of these whopping, life changing ones. All too often, we take those whopping ones for granted because we don’t necessarily appreciate the journey we took to get there.
As I’ve gotten a little older since then, I’ve learned to really enjoy not abiding in being stationary. Just because I haven’t left Canyon, USA doesn’t mean that I’m stationary. There’s always a place to go or a thing to do wherever you are. Lately, I’ve been exploring my faith and what it means to me. I’ve been exploring my talent for composition and creativity. I’ve been lots of places that a car could never take me. But, for those twenty minutes in that Nissan GT-R, I found that a car could take me places that I wouldn’t have ever considered otherwise: a place that showed that encouragement is a journey all its own and not merely just a stop along whatever path you happen yourself to be.
So, as I find myself sitting here reminiscing about the things I have experienced and the things yet to come, I am encouraged. Because at some point, somewhere down the line, there either has been or will be a Brandon telling me that regardless of what point I exist in, I have done good things and those little things will resolve themselves with understanding and application. It’s kind of a shame that at first, I didn’t believe him.
Now, I do. Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction serves you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.
I can still hear “Turn now! Brake now! Push through the apex! Go, go, go!!!!” in my head. A lot better now because I can appreciate what it means to be encouraged through proper guidance. Wherever you are, I pray that you’re doing well and that the same drive and passion for racing and instruction continues to serve you in areas of life that extend far beyond the track.
P.S: Thanks, JP! As one racing fan to another, “Boogity! Boogity! Boogity!”
Often times, I’ve really wondered just what the word “living” actually meant. I mean, there’s gotta be more to what we do every day, isn’t there? I would hate to think that eating, breathing, sleeping, or working is very much or exactly what “living” is.
I am willing to be the first to admit that I haven’t done much living. Sure, I eat a lot. Sure, I breathe an excessive amount. I don’t sleep much. I never really did. As for work, I find myself spending a lot of time there. But, even in the midst of all of those things, I still have been wondering just what makes “living” so important.
Over the last five years or so, I’ve really had to come to terms with a lot of things that have happened. I’ve lost so much and I’ve gained so much. But, the manner in which all of these things have changed the sum of my life very often elude and confuse me. I still don’t quite know how to take everything. I mean, is this all too good to be true? Have I lost perspective? Am I being toyed with? All the questions that raise doubt and insinuate that things aren’t what they appear to be linger moving forward still exist. I suppose the real question is, “How do I endure without letting these questions change my motive?”
As I mentioned before, lots of things have changed for me over the last five years. But, it’s only been over the last three years that I’ve begun to understand what it all means. I’ve had to realize that it all means something and that it all has its place in the scheme of it all. Saying that all of these events haven’t impacted me is an understatement; but, their effect on me now versus what it could have been still feels like I haven’t learned anything about being where I am. Granted, I’ve gained some perspective and some wisdom (hopefully) about all of these happenings but one thing I haven’t learned (or understood) is how all of these things let me “live.”
Before this phase of my life I’m in now, I didn’t have much of a life or even one at all. It was devoid of meaning, purpose, and relevance. It was empty… damn empty. I wasn’t living in any sense or interpretation of the word. I lost my life.
One of my best friends said to me that if there was going to be any hope of recovering from the pain and salvaging what was left of whatever it was that I had, it was going to happen being around the right people. I didn’t know who the right people were. I had no idea what kind of situation that would look like. I had no idea. But, for me to figure all of that out took one big thing: risk.
The catch about taking risk is that we don’t really want to take that chance of giving up whatever we have, no matter how great or small, for the sake of something that may be better. If we felt that we had a better choice, we wouldn’t risk anything and just appropriate the things we wanted. Taking a risk makes us feel that we are vulnerable. Taking risks means that we are desperate. Taking risks means that whatever we have just isn’t enough…
It’s a difficult admission to make to anyone, especially ourselves, that our current state is inadequate. It naturally extends into our mindset and eventually our decision making. We protect whatever it is that we have because we don’t want to risk losing it and ending up with nothing. Or, ending up with something far worse than what we had in the first place…
That was me. That was my shitty life. Well, at least it used to be.
Learning how to take risks… take the chance… is a skill that I have yet to even begin to say that I have any level of proficiency. There are so many parts of me… about who I am… about who I used to be… that say that you haven’t really risked anything and that everything that has been granted to me is a result of being a desperate, lonely, and scared man. Someone to be pitied… someone to feel sorry for… and someone that deserved every cut, scrape, scar, bruise, and broken aspect of everything that was going on.
I chose to believe that. I wasn’t able to risk them being wrong. So, I didn’t. I couldn’t take that chance that I would lose. Lose what very little I had… lose my sanity… lose my Humanity. I couldn’t admit that I was vulnerable. Who wants to admit that? Our first thought is to admit that it is a sign of weakness. Totally not true. Admitting that you’re vulnerable doesn’t mean that you’re weak or inferior. Admitting that you’re vulnerable is a simple declaration that you’re nothing more or nothing less who you are. Everything that you have or don’t have… everything in abundance or in scarce supply… nothing more or less the person you are. That, in itself, is a HUGE risk.
Without going too much into it, I can say that taking risks are what “living” is all about. Sure, there are an infinite amount of reasons to choose not to do something. There are so many reasons to not… Nobody talks about the one reason… one… to take the risk… to take the chance on something that could ultimately lead to something so life-changing that everything changes.
I’m very fortunate to be in a situation now that affirms the importance of taking chances. I’m very fortunate to be in a situation where risk, whether it has yielded either positive or negative results, has affected change in my life. It has enabled me to have the vision to put aside things I have certainty in and have faith in my doubt and misgivings. It makes not knowing what the future holds okay. I don’t think I, or anyone else for that matter, could live knowing exactly how it all turns out. It makes… living… dull, boring, and predictable.
Earlier, I mentioned that I had no clue about what I thought “living” was. Maybe, now I do. I lost my life. I ceased living. I could have died. Some would argue that I did die.
But, in losing my life and being close to death, I found life and I am beginning to understand what in means to be living.
Because I understand what it means to be living… I also understand what it means to live.
Nobody ever became a legend by not.
Every single person who is one took the risks and chose to be.
And if they could, we can too.
Gotta risk it to get the biscuit.
It’s amazing just how much you can learn about yourself.
Whether it’s being at home or abroad… there’s always something new that your environment can educate you to about just who we really are. I’m not necessarily talking about personality traits or instances when we defy our own norms but revelations that can create irreconcilable differences between the person we are as we exist now and the person we are meant to be, can be, we once were, or whatever else we can think of that allows us to give definition to existential differences.
But, one thing I’ve learned “studying abroad” was that we, as human beings, are never going to be unified in that sense. There are just too many crises that we face that create moments that we are forced to agree or disagree with our contrasting identities. Now, don’t confuse this with multiple personalities or anything that may imply mental illness. We are all crazy in our own way. Very few of us are by definition “sane.” Hell, I don’t think any of us are. We go at it with ourselves so much that I don’t think it’s possible to look at ourselves and not make the accusation. However, the inevitable inclusion of those around us and consequently those we care for makes us wonder.
I’ve come to hold true that whatever our journey is for, the space between where we are now and the destination is a battleground. Whether we question the dignity a beard may add (as men) or does wearing lingerie inhibit a woman’s ability to be modest (if you’re a woman)… or extending beyond the superficial and asking questions that challenge the very nature of your own being… whatever the road you travel, the lengths you’ll go to find resolution will create plenty of opportunity to see just how divisible we really are.
The doubt and insecurities that being in a transitional phase bring can be crippling to the personal going through it. However, there will always be those who take sides. There are those who feed the necessity and value of either one of those identities and the conflict between those aspects deny the idea of being a unified entity. However, there’s always more going on than meets the eye and that element gives us hope.
The apparent schism plays an important role in our overall growth. The split doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with us. It just means that we have an internal conflict of interest and those aren’t always bad things either. There are things we may want to accomplish that aren’t always conducive to our personality construct as it stands. Conversely, there are things that we have already done that compromise our future. It’s a part of the growing pains we go through. It’s a fact of life. We will be at odds with ourselves. We are what we are.
In the midst of all of that confusion, there will be a time that someone will ask who we just happen to be… perhaps the hardest hitting question we can ever ask ourselves would be, “Do we really want to know who is responsible for saving our own ass?” Sure, I think we would all like to know. But, is it honestly necessary? As a Christian, we acknowledge that God can move in mysterious ways and we can’t always put our finger on where and when things were set in motion. But, we can feel comfortable attributing that to Him.
Sure, I can go with that. Faith is important and it shows. Nothing wrong with having it and putting it to use.
However, there are critical moments… and we may not know who is who… that will have everything hanging in the balance… and we won’t know who is really doing what is necessary to achieve the goal. I’ve had more than enough of those instances in life… and even some now… and I’ve been left asking that very question. I can honestly and truthfully say that God hasn’t always been that answer. It’s not a bad thing because I understand that He can be “that way.” Sometimes, He just wants you to do things yourself. It is quite a talent to be self-sustaining. It’s an even bigger talent to be able to choose not to be.
I can save myself. I’ve been trained and given the necessary equipment to just that. It’s part of my journey… and I’ve made some friends being on this path. I’ve made some enemies. I value the person I was as equally as I value the person I am now because I’ve been made whole by them because they compliment each other. I don’t have to grant God the reverence He may deserve. Not because He doesn’t deserve it but because I know How he works with me. I understand how it works and I’m not necessarily the guy to mess with something that isn’t broken. Furthermore, I don’t need Him to tell me He’s around. Just like He knows I know my way Home.
I don’t need to know who the hero of my story is. Maybe I don’t want to know. I never have been central to my own life and it doesn’t seem like a good time to start.
It’s a common preconception that we have to be extraordinary to do extraordinary things. Jesus was and it’s a hard example to follow. I won’t lie. Extraordinary people are most tempted by the most ordinary things. Even Jesus was…
As true as that is, even ordinary people did extraordinary things too.
And I’ve found a little peace being just that.
Things have a habit of just happening. A lot of the time it’s when we least expect them to and we aren’t ready for the impact that these events carry. However, there are a few times in which these events are welcome and embraced as part of our ever-changing identity.
Recently, I had just begun to be intentional about a lot of things. One of which was keeping a journal. It isn’t about my daily activities or my feelings, well… not in the sense that we would write about them in a diary. Rather, how these feelings manifest themselves in the two biggest facets of my life: Personally and Professionally. Truth be told, I didn’t have a lot of faith in the idea that critiquing and documenting the way I live my life wouldn’t inspire much change in it.
Boy, was I wrong.
Being able to be honest with yourself is one thing. Holding yourself accountable is quite another and I’ve found that using a journal is a great way to do exactly that. Once it’s on paper, you can’t get rid of it. You can’t deny it. It’s out there for anyone and everyone to see. Furthermore, it’s an expression of what you truly feel and how those feelings alienate you toward what the circumstances regarding them. It’s very hard to express yourself and at the same time be complicit in the notion that how things seem and how they actually are can be different.
In the last two weeks, the general theme that has surrounded the vision I’ve had is acknowledging my fears. The fear of failing, in particular. I’ll be open with you. Most of my teenage to adult life, I have had plenty of reason to believe that I had been an unmitigated failure. I had unfulfilled relationship after another. I’ve been in positions where I wasn’t being gratified in terms of a career. I had lost confidence in hope in the idea of being genuinely happy. I’ve even gone as far as to say that I wasn’t ever going to get married and been vocal about how I believed that life was over for me.
So, as a result of these feelings, I decided that everyday (Starting Feb. 1st) I was going to write down my goals for the day and questions I needed to ask myself that would allow me to search for answers. As a result, every day since then has yielded guidance and a place to go when my path strayed away from my vision. It’s been a struggle, to be sure. But, a welcome one. It’s allowed me to keep myself in check. That’s a new and refreshing change of pace after running rough shot all over the place for so long.
The whole experience for me has been like having a bag full of random things. We carry all of these things wherever we go. Whether it be material things or emotional baggage or whatever the case may be, it goes with us. Whenever we stumble and lose control of that bag, we become panicked and frantically pick up the pieces and pull ourselves back together. By doing so, we continue the project the illusion that we have everything under control when the reality is those very things dictate and manipulate how we portray our personal integrity.
But, God isn’t the kind of guy to trip us up and create a situation where we have to go through that kind of regrouping. I’ve personally experienced (Here lately more so now than I ever have) that He is the type to take what we have in hand and ask, “Why is this so important?” Why do we hold on to such frivolous things? We don’t care if we lose our pen or if a penny falls out of our pockets. We don’t have vested interests in those things. On the flip side, we do have a vested interest in our feelings. They are OUR feelings. They BELONG to us. What makes our feelings so different from that pen we lost or that penny we dropped? They were once OURS. They BELONGED to us. Maybe it’s because that a penny or a pen is “just stuff.”
Anyone who knows me can attest to how stubborn and inflexible I can be. One reason for that has been that I have been unwilling to forgive myself for a lot of things that have happened over the years. I’ll own whatever I’ve had my paws on and I’m not afraid to admit it. I’m not afraid to. But, there have been things that I’ve also accepted responsibility for that weren’t mine. In both cases, it’s been an insurmountable challenge to let go of these things regardless of how much or how often it’s put to me that it was necessary.
Today was a little bit different. In these two weeks, I’ve had to learn how to be patient. Being patient isn’t woven into anyone’s character. It’s definitely an acquired talent, to be sure. Throughout this process, one of the lessons has been that it’s unfair to ask God “When?” Asking that question just means our faith and our intentions aren’t necessarily on the same page. To make matters even more squirrly, God’s timing could very well be around the corner you’re about to turn.
When I walked into church this morning, a man that I’ve had bitter feelings toward for a long time now was leading worship. It was already a bad morning for me. I didn’t sleep too long and I was present to offer testimony as to how The Navigators had been helping me grow. Preface: I hate public speaking. HATE IT. But, to have to stand in front of a congregation I’m still getting used to and have to have a heartfelt expression in front of people I wasn’t ready to have that kind of talk with yet made it a lot more nerve wracking than it already was.
When I was at the podium, the first words out of my mouth were that initially I didn’t want to be where I am now. I’m man enough to admit it. I had been hurt enough. I didn’t want to go through that process again. Something my friend Tyler told me was that being around the right people can make or break an attempt at starting over. Throughout the entire process, I had my doubts. I’m big enough to admit that as well. In the back of my mind, I knew it was inevitable.
While I was speaking, I had the realization that all of these failures or “pens/pennies” were exactly that: Just failures. Just another pen lost or a penny dropped. In that moment, I came to know that there was a reason. I was impatient. I was bitter. I didn’t want to leave. I wasn’t ready to go. Me… me… me…. it was… just me.
At the end, I had come to know what it really meant to be patient. It meant that things will come when they are supposed to come. Being patient meant that things come and go and circumstances change along with them. Being patient helps build your faith in the things to come. There are a lot of moving parts about the future. Rushing them can throw a wrench into those plans and when it happens, we wonder just what the deal is. Looking at it now, it’s a kick in our personal complacency.
At the end of the service, I knew peace. I came to know that being patient would yield its own reward: Forgiveness.
When I waited to speak with this man afterwards, I told him exactly how I felt and that I understood his position and in the contrast, we found that it was definitely a God thing to be where we both are now. Even more than that, to have found some affirmation in that I was where I was supposed to be… needed to be and in the right moment to be there.
And of all the things I had found today, I had found that some of those “pennies” I had been hanging on to for so long… They didn’t matter anymore. They didn’t matter because this man hugged me. He shook my hand, hugged me, and told me how proud he was about how far I had come and encouraged me in the direction I was going.
That’s more important to me. Don’t get me wrong. Feelings are important because they are that bag we carry. But, all of these things that work against us… doubt, fear, anguish, hate, bitterness… you name it… To God, these are the “pens” and “pennies” that we care more about than we should and we can’t get so offended when He asks, “What is so important about this pen? It’s just stuff.”
It’s just stuff, people. It’s just stuff…