Things I Learned in 2013
The abbreviated version: Sometimes, the right thing to do by any conceivable rationalization or stretch of the imagination or even blunt and basic common sense isn't the right thing to do at all.
The longer version (in convoluted sequence, because sometimes that's as clear as it gets):
1 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. -Psalm 133
Awhile (a long while) ago, someone I love very much told me to memorize this. For a purpose and not just me (Facts which are beside the point, totally unrelated to this story and really didn't have a whole lot to do with me anyway. I was just there.). I don't fight such orders. I like memorizing things. The payoff being I frequently find memorized words indispensable sometime down the road and am grateful for that great reserve of them I have floating around waiting to be vital to whichever step is next I take.
Sometimes, I grasp things quickly. Sometimes, it takes me a long time to work something out.
Occasionally, I get to walk through a figurative desert. It's worth inserting here that someone else I love very much once told me "Enjoy the ride." in terms of getting through the desert. Honestly? I found that advice extremely annoying. Sleep does not exist for me in the desert. I like sleep. Again, this insertion is really not related to whatever I'm trying to say other than I realized she knew what she was talking about . The rain on the other side tends to be far more valued after such a long absence.
Sometimes, I don't even know I'm in the desert until I'm so far in I've forgotten what rain even looks like.
2013 was a trip across the Sahara. Unplanned. Uncharted. An illusory walk.
On some journeys, I take company. Not this one. It was just me and the desert. I've reached the edge of it. Where rain will surely fall.
What I learned:
1. It is possible to be angry with someone and not even know it. Perhaps, anger is too strong of a word for this particular desert, but still...I've learned it is possible. More importantly, one tiny stone of anger removed from an otherwise stable foundation has the potential to cause the whole thing to collapse. I suppose one could argue that aforementioned stability. In truth, there were other tiny stones. I just didn't realize anger was one of them.
2. Resentment has nothing to do with the one resented and everything to do with the one resenting.
3. Something I previously viewed as unnecessary is now a nonnegotiable requirement for me. Vague, I realize. Just know that something I once had to be talked into needing became something I cannot live without.
4. Some metaphorical stuff about family. I realize I come from people who are fairly unconditional in terms of family. Being crazy, irresponsible, irrational, annoying or (insert any undesirable trait here) whatever doesn't preclude anything. Family requires compromise. Just because I don't agree with you (or necessarily even like you) doesn't mean I don't hope to see you at the reunion. Transfer that broad spectrum.
5. Just because I don't understand something in the moment (or ever) doesn't automatically connote there is no meaning. O.K...so I already knew that, but I needed a reminder.
6. GRACE...the most complicated five letter word in the dictionary. Except it isn't supposed to be complicated. I don't think. I'm one of those people who thinks in pictures. Extending grace upwards was not in my picture. The omission was not intentional or even realized. It just wasn't there. Grace...it ends up being one of those primary themes of every desert walk. The ones I take, anyway.
7. I'm not the rainmaker. I don't get to determine what it looks like or where it falls.