You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘dealing with problems’ tag.

A group of us had been discussing “Come Walk With Me.”  This is a program at our church where groups of us get together and walk.  Normally my group consists of myself, a female friend and a male friend.  Since Sarah had a meeting it would be only Carl and I.  Another friend drew me aside.  “Does his wife know you two walk together?”

I really wasn’t certain but then the real issue came out.  “What if she thinks something funny is going on and causes trouble for you?”

It still took me a minute because Carl does love a good joke but then I realized that she meant something sexy.  “I think she knows.  I’ll ask.”

Suffice it to say, that raised a real kurfuffle.  But in all seriousness, anyone who knows me knows that I opt for the straightforward.  I do it with big things like this and I do it with little things too.

Yesterday I was not at my most astute.  I had started the day with a migraine and it was gone by the time I made it to church but I was loopy.  I walked right past one friend when she said good morning.  I was at the other side of the fellowship hall before her question registered.  I caught up with her a few minutes later and apologized.  We had a good laugh because really nothing had happened.

But how often, when we are convinced we have been slighted, someone suspects us of something, or someone has left us hanging is it really nothing.  Bounced messages, dead phones and just human nature can compound misunderstandings.

By reaching out, we can pull things into the light and laugh at how silly most of it really is.

–SueBE

 

alex-jones-Tq4YjCa2BSc-unsplashGot a problem? “Give it to God,” they say. Only sometimes it’s not that simple. I, for one, tend to be an ambivalent giver. I claim to hand over my trouble, only to take it back obsessively, ruminate on it, rummage through the possibilities, ponder all the “what-ifs.” As if Providence rests in my nervous little hands.

The great and wise Richard Rohr once said, “The opposite of Faith is not doubt; the opposite of faith is control.” It’s a lesson we, like poor Hamlet, learn the hard way. That in the end, “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, / Rough-hew them how we will—….”

And, as we know, “the rest is silence.”

Of what substance
is hardship made
that, in shaping it
with sturdy hands,
it liquefies, slumps,
refuses to hold its shape?
Persists with devilish intensity
to be captured or controlled?
If only we understood:
That in lifting our hands,
in setting free that which
we cannot sculpt to our ends,
the obdurate thing will fly from us,
ascend to one who will form it.
The shape it takes, no wringing of limbs
will change. It is what it will be.
Swallow it, in pieces, as you can.

Many years ago, when I was a young and naïve slip of a thing, my husband went out of town, leaving me alone in our townhouse. One evening during this trip, there came a knock on the door. More like a fusillade of knocking. And yelling. A man with a loud and angry voice demanded I “open the door right now!” and proceeded to call me a variety of ugly names.

I froze in fear. Should I hit the alarm button (which had gone off before without the neighbors doing a darned thing about it)? Call the cops? Hide? He was, after all, threatening to kick the door down.

Sherry! (or Sheila or Shelly…I forget)” he screamed. “I’m going to kill you if you don’t open this door RIGHT NOW!

“Sherry (or Sheila or Shelly) doesn’t live here,” I yelled back. There was a moment of silence.

“Okay,” came the voice from the other side of the door, and the man walked away.

Sometimes troubles come knocking on our door, and sometimes they threaten to kick it down. It can feel like the whole world is calling us a variety of ugly names. It can feel like we are powerless to prevent the nameless nastiness that is certain to come — soon. Any minute, it seems.

Maybe yelling at your difficulties won’t keep them from coming. On the other hand, like David facing Goliath or Daniel in the lion’s den, a little moxie couldn’t hurt. In fact, sometimes it’s all you need to power your way through a tough time. No one needs to know you don’t really have anything left in you to back it up.

Why? Because even if you are trembling in your boots, God isn’t. And God has your back. You may not be able to picture the other side of the mountain of woe that stands in front of you, but you will reach the other side. What’s there might not be any prettier, but once you’ve climbed one mountain, you will know the steps you need to take to climb the next.

So the next time life offers you lemons, don’t bother with lemonade. Just yell, “Sherry/Sheila/Shelly doesn’t live here!” at it. Refuse to engage that person who wants to draw you into a quarrel. Choose not to let someone else take advantage of you, even if you have to rely on bluster you don’t feel. Decide to forgive someone not because they deserve it, but because you do.

Most of all, don’t forget how deeply loved you are. God recognizes your sorrows and feels them deeply. Jesus, fully divine and fully human, understands what it is to fear, suffer, mourn. Even if the door comes crashing down, you’ve got an army behind you.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

%d bloggers like this: