So OK….I didn’t find it amusing. Yes I got mad at a Facebook quiz. I think perhaps I took it a bit more seriously than intended. But my whole self screamed “Oh no, Kim wouldn’t!!!!!”
Not that I wouldn’t possibly cry. Patsy is my dear, sweet, precious friend and I am sure I would be upset and frustrated were she to go missing…crying would be a normal reaction. But helpless? Oh no. Not this woman. I wouldn’t be. As soon as I heard the news my mind would start into overdrive. We would figure this thing out and find my friend.
I had to analyze my reaction a bit. I was a bit amused at my ire, but also a bit curious as to why it bothered me so much. I finally realized I absolutely hate feeling helpless. The thought that I can’t do anything to change a situation? It is not something I accept easily. Yet so often, we just are.
I like to help. I like to solve problems. I like to feel smart. I like to be strong. Yet there are times when I can do none of those things….or they cannot change the situation.
So much in life is out of our control. Weather. Other people’s actions or reactions. Feelings – ours or those of others. Death. Health. The hours in a day. Airlines. Someone else’s child crying in a restaurant.
You would think that after a while we would get used to it. Acknowledge we are ultimately helpless. Accept that there are things that only God can control, that only God can change. But one of the most difficult things I have found in my relationship wth God is trusting during these times. I can acknowledge my lack of knowledge and lack of ability, but surrendering to God’s will Is actively acknowledging that I cannot do anything about a situation….it does not come easily for me. It is against my nature. A sign of the constant battle I face in acknowledging God is God….and I am not.
I think part of my struggle is that I don’t understand. I can’t grasp why God allows certain things to happen in our world (note that I don’t believe that God causes them, but I believe God can stop them). Yet then sometimes I imagine a world where these things didn’t happen, where there was no pain and no struggle and no injustice, and I realize there would also be no growth. A crazy paradox. I suspect I will never understand it. But this I know…some of the greatest beauty I’ve seen in life is triumph over these things. And in my own life the greatest triumph is when I don’t stop the story before it is over….and when only the ugly shows….but stay alert to see the beauty that develops.
I do not like to feel helpless….but truth is that I am not. I have the very power of God behind me…and some “mad skillz” I was given by his creation and through the working out of living. Sometimes I do have to accept that things are out of my control, but I have learned that prayer is not necessarily to change God’s mind, but to get my attention as I watch God at work. Sometimes I can sit back and watch…and not necessarily be helpless.
A lot of the time there are things I can do. Even when I feel helpless, There is something special about being willing to proceed without confidence. I don’t have to see a stop sign. I can instead see a yield…..and either give way to the one who is in charge of the universe, or regroup and allow myself to be used again. And sometimes it is a beautiful green so I can charge ahead!
Patsy, or any of my dear friends or family, should you ever go missing, know I will not act helpless. I will fight like a wildcat until you are found. No stone will be left unturned. I will pray and listen to God, but I will also use all that I am to continue to search. Because sometimes we have to surrender….but sometimes surrendering to helplessness will never be an option I am willing to consider.
Still, I will probably cry.