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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

There is a difference between being insensitive and being a realist.  The fun thing is that so many people can't seem to draw a line between the two and end up being disappointed with, well, everything.

Nothing seems to happen as a result of itself or an action of any sort.
What I mean is that we are always looking for a sign or purpose behind everything that goes on in our lives.  This was me for the majority of my life and I sort of expected everything to just fall into order the way it was "supposed to" and as long as I tried hard, I would succeed.  A few years later, I figured out that life didn't really work as I had envisioned and heard so many other people make so much of a fuss about.

I liked looking for signs which were beyond me and my control to somehow pave the way for whatever was in front of me.  You know, let God, the world, or my peers completely steer my life into whatever direction I should have been headed at that time.  
You have probably heard the term "Written in the sand." which asserts that the bigger decisions and choices in your life will be laid out in front of you in a very obvious fashion at some point in time, (we Christians call it the "ah-ha moment") which is neither realistic nor practical if you ever intend to get anywhere or be anything of substance. 

Until a few years ago, I was waiting for a big moment and for something huge to happen in my life as so many other people talk about, until I started paying attention to a distant family member and what she was going through with her (second) marriage.  Facebook posts about how great her husband was and how happy their marriage was flooded my newsfeed to the point that I removed her from my friend list because the squishy factor was so thick that it had to be a lie.

My favorite rapper, Common, once said:
"I hope the stars and the gods align me and you."

Many, many people, including my family member, tend to take that sort of wordplay seriously and the aforementioned Facebook example proves my point.  Actually, what I saw well over a year in advance in that case was a person who needed the reassurance of how great her life was which she achieved by fabricating public posts as a means of covering up her own misery.  She and her husband divorced less than a month after she had put up a post about how happy she was that God had put them together forever.  They just weren't compatible at the end of the day and it was a mutual separation.
The universe did not explode as a result.

Things like that set us up for disappointment and it isn't only in relationships, but everything else as well.  We tend to get pretty romanticized ideas about everything working out in a certain way and for some greater purpose - not by a supernatural design or a deeply rooted prophesy, but because that is what WE want.  Everyone wants that cool story of saying 
"And then he ran over my foot in the Wal-Mart parking lot, drove me to the hospital, and I knew it was destined to be."
"Then I cut four of my toes off while wearing flip-flops and mowing the lawn, but the big one was spared because the blade caught the leather strap at just the right angle. My toe was meant to be saved!"

Yeah, those are ridiculous, but do you understand what I am saying now?
I spent most of my life looking for a reason or purpose behind what was or wasn't happening in my life instead of taking the time to actually live my life and allow it to stay in motin.

Then I stopped having expectations and started letting life happen. 

At that point, I started living my life in a way that allowed me to have at least one adventure every single day.  These don't involve crazy happenings which create memorable stories very often, but I at least try to do something outside of my comfort zone everyday.  The only requirement for having your own adventure everyday is that you allow it to be personal, to YOU.  Not a single day has gone by in the past year when I haven't taken an opportunity to either learn a new skill, tweak one already existing, or put myself out on a limb in an attempt to better myself in some way or another.  

I learned that life is not about looking for signs in the sky or waiting for patterns to align in a certain way for happiness to be relevant. 

Life is all about how you react to circumstance, whether positive or negative and whether or not you fail or succeed - it doesn't matter.  You're growing.

The more signs you look for to tell you what to do, the more you miss the big picture that you could be creating of your own life and capturing the smaller moments as a bigger part of it.

Never let the wordplay, the "normal" things, the "typical" behavior, or any expectations have any sort of control over the direction of your future.

You can choose one path to walk, or another.
No matter which direction you choose, you will always have the ability to return as an even more incredible person.
Some things - most things- happen by chance and chance alone.

You determine your own future.
Grab it... 

Grace and Peace,


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