The last post musters remnants of my own struggles with “What ifs.” Through college and immediately beyond I was fascinated by purpose, and the reason things happened. In broader terms, I was and still am captivated by the larger picture—I seem to be able to grab context immediately.
The problem, as Joe’s anecdote explores, lies in our being imperfect creatures wanting what will come later.
It seems man likes to reach for the carrot without walking the miles, and it’s even more difficult when a supposed carrot is right in front of us. Joe’s tale is drenched in possibility. He’s settled in for a relaxing evening, with a movie, maybe some drinks. But from his solitude comes the possibility of a connection with another person. Thus his carrot.
Joe’s mind races a million miles a minute considering the ways to get to the resolution. He has faith in God’s plan, but the carrot is there. This yearning is made more compelling with a ticking clock—Joe’s deployment.
I guess a simple question to ask, but not to answer, would be, ”What do we do when presented with the possibility of something we want?” And I don’t mean a piece of cheese cake, or a new car. Here I’m talking about deeply spiritual, emotional, or metaphysical incursions on our path—the things that shape us.
You can take the Kingdom of Heaven approach and have complete faith in the bigger plan we know nothing about. The movie repeatedly attributes success or failure to God’s will, sometimes ridiculously so.
A wiser approach, I think, gives us pause. When we are presented with a potential love, a spiritual awakening, a metaphysical revelation, etc, we must apply the event to our personal credo, assuming we have such a thing. The credo is the grouping of fundamental beliefs which we apply to our actions and decision-making daily.
True depth comes in the pause, and steadfast application of the credo. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking the question “What does this mean” or “How does this shape my situation.”
This is all moot, though, unless we’re honest with ourselves. I mean true, brutal honesty. It’s hard sometimes in our society of status and stuff to find the pause, and be comfortable enough in it to provoke change within ourselves. But when you think about it, if we can’t be honest with ourselves, and change what we don’t like, then who can?
All of these things are tied into the anecdote from Joe. We are inherently lonely creatures, and possibilities magnify our insecurities. They remind us there are things we don’t have, and don’t know. The unknowns are okay, though. It’s okay for us not to have the carrot because…well…we’ll get it when we get it. The best description of relationships is put: It doesn’t work, until the one that does.
It seems like eternity when we’re waiting for what we think our heart or mind or soul desires. And in that slowing of time, when the world seems colder and more complicated, it’s more important to embrace the time with solid introspection.
From Kingdom of Heaven, a character asks “What sort of man am I if I do not try and better my land?”
Consider your body, mind, and spirit as your “land.” As such, we should strive for clarity and constructive ways to use the gifts we’ve been given.