Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chain Link

So, today I've been thinking about unintended consequences.  The sermon this morning was about Noah and his Ark, and honestly, I only half listened.  I was stuck in my mind again---thinking about fear--- and how I've let it make me think I'm chosing the safest, most responsible option, when actually I've been cowering and kowtowing to ugly fear.

What if Noah had chosen the "safest" option?  What if  he had run from the tigers?  What if he had been more responsible and gone to work instead of building a giant hobby ship?

Sometimes, I wonder how my life is different from the girls who seemed to have it all planned out by sophomore year in college.  By graduation, they'd be married.  By the next year, they'd be finished with grad school, and when Timmy started kindergarten, they'd open a consulting firm and buy a motorcycle.  And yeah, it's five years later now, Timmy is in school, and I've seen Susie cruising around town on her motorcycle in her powder pink chaparreras.

What are these Perfect Plan-istas afraid of?  What do they struggle with?  Do people ever look at them like they're aliens?  I have no idea what their kind of life must be like.

It's an interesting place being single approaching thirty.  People aren't sure how to make polite conversation without being able to ask about my strong, strapping husband or my healthy babies.  So, they ask about the gym, the weather, the school assemblies, and the who-I'm-dating-now. 

I have learned so much being on my own for these years.  I've learned about good parenting from some awesome friends.  I've learned about good communicating from some patient roommates.  I've learned about loss-and-letting-go from some sisters who've gone.  I've trudged through the sludge in the bottom of my heart and found some jewels there, too.  I've wandered from God, and I missed Him so much.  It has been fun to have the freedom to explore all of these things on my own calendar.

I think the hardest thing about being where I am, as the one who doesn't fit expectations in our society . . . is that I am the oddball in my family. My parents and my sister walked the Married by Twenty Path.  They really speak the same language.  Maybe someday, I'll learn it.  Until then, there are going to be times I'll be on the outside. 

I just read Genesis Six again.  I wonder if Noah had fun building the Ark?  Cypress wood, pitch, rooms, decks, animals . . .They say he was 500 when he started the project and 600 when he finished.  I wonder if he and his sons sanded the decks together?  I wonder if his wife painted and hung curtains?  :P  I wonder if there were times Noah looked up at the sky and thought, "Pfft.  Water?  From where?  God? Did you change your mind?  God?"   And then, maybe he looked down at his sons and thought, "I trust."

Lord, show me what it means to be obedient.  I've been as obedient as I know to be, but show me more.  Show me what to do with all this alien freedom.  I don't want to waste it.  Show me how to be courageous. 

Love.  Rain.  Ready.

Aubrey

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