A Mystery of Interpretation

Have you ever had the experience of being unable to let go of something that was troubling you?

A recent experience continues to come back to me, making me ask myself why did it happen? Most often, I am able to accept that “things happen for a reason,” and then let go. This time, however, it continues to come back to me, and I can still see it first one way, and then another.

I often feel a similar frustration when I read the Bible. There are times when certain passages seem to say one thing to me, and yet other times when I see the same passage with an entirely different point of view.

I’ve been reminded by these situations that perhaps I’m being too controlling, perhaps requiring too many answers. I should probably just “let go” and “accept” whatever it was that happened.  But then, I think maybe I need confirmation that it was okay to not have liked the situation in order to accept it, and move on. But how does a person know WHICH way is the RIGHT way? 

Did I get anything positive from the incident? Perhaps there is something I was meant to learn? I’m unable to think of much.

While my reaction was very strong and very negative, I do see how the pendulum could shift to something positive for someone else. But this kind of discussion leaves me nowhere close to a sense of closure, OR a feeling of peace. How can I resolve my still volatile feelings?  

Suddenly, listening to the words of the song Amazing Grace, this quote came to mind:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) When I located the passage in the Bible, later in the same psalm are these words:  “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth…so shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

And instantly…I had peace! Thank You, God, for allowing me to finally SEE! I will take from the experience what I received from it. I will recognize that others may have received something different from the same experience. But I now know that my reaction was meant for me, and Isaiah 55 tells me that I can finally be okay with it. Thank goodness that the Father didn’t make all of us alike, for most certainly, the world would be a much more boring place in which to live!

Beyond the Moat?

Recently, I thought I was getting away for a refreshing and restorative weekend. It turned out to be  exactly the opposite – intense, and challenging at almost every angle.

I discovered that I really don’t respond well to spontaneous, unanticipated activity. I happen to like knowing what is on an agenda. We were not given an agenda.

I was designated “secretary” for my small discussion group. I never enjoyed taking notes in meetings when I was working, and I still don’t enjoy the process.

I was not a happy camper, and my stomach was in knots.

So, I have been wondering what should I be taking with me from this experience? The theme I recognize running through it all is that I was lacking the element of control. I’d thought that my life was pretty much in order. I’d felt that I’d chosen the parts I had wanted to keep and rejected those I did not.  What’s wrong with that? asks my subconscious. I’d thought that was a sign of growing up.  

I realized this weekend that those choices, however, have resulted in self-imposed barriers. I have had decades to construct them. They took a long time to build, and they are pretty sturdy. I did a pretty good job on them. But maybe I need to take another look at my fortress. Could there be a need for a window somewhere?

I’m thinking that perhaps the message I needed to hear is that I need to lose some control and allow myself to trust more. Unfortunately, that probably means I have to be open to being more vulnerable. But I don’t want to be hurt! rails my subconscious obstinately.

To be more vulnerable, I realize that I may need to share my thoughts and feelings more. My quiet solitude is still my preferred refuge. However, I am thinking that perhaps I need to let more people “in.” I’m not too sure about the spontaneity factor, though.

Will I venture out beyond my moat? Perhaps there is something “out there” that I’ve been missing. If there is, I guess I’m not likely to find it on the paper or the computer screen on which I write.

Try it! She exclaims. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll like it.

I’m guessing I need to find a place in this castle for a window….

Believing in Each Other

No one of any age likes being rejected. It doesn’t matter if it happens on a playground or in the work place. Being rejected hurts. When we hurt, we attempt to protect ourselves. We build walls, strong barriers against further rejection. Over years, the resolve to never be hurt again merely deepens, and our attitudes become more rigid, making it all the more difficult for us to change.

Go ahead. Call me Pollyanna. I refuse to accept that the effects of whatever hurtful acts were first perpetrated upon us, were meant to continue for a lifetime. Furthermore, I believe in kindness and acceptance.  I believe, over time, when one experiences acceptance, respect, and love – to whatever degree they can be provided – hurt and rejection will slowly melt into the darkness of our pasts. In their place, will blossom a new person who is astounded that such kindness is being directed at them.

Even if only offered in small acts, if only able to be offered sporadically, the person on the receiving end will learn to recognize goodness. He or she will know the blessing of acceptance and will eventually long to share it with others because it feels so very good.

Yes, rejection always hurts…but kindness and acceptance will always hold a greater impact. Be kind to one another. Do good to those who hate you. Seems like I’ve heard those words somewhere else….