"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Who's to Blame Now?

When my husband left for a 2 week mission trip to Scotland, I knew there would be a lot of things I would miss about him. But one thing for sure: I would NOT miss the dirt tracked in across my kitchen floor and the pieces of trash from the yard in our bathroom. I kid him that he will pass 2 outdoor mats in the garage, a boot brush at the steps, a floor mat inside the kitchen door and a small woven rug just before stepping from the breakfast room into the den whereupon he will wipe his boots. Yep. That's my man and after 35 years of marriage, I've discovered that there are some things you just can't teach a man to do. (Seriously, if wiping his feet is his worst vice, I really have nothing to complain about.) 

But I was looking forward to a little less .... maintenance.

And then it happened. This ...

How did this birdseed get into my bathroom? And there was not just one, but two! Surely I am not the guilty party! But who is? 

And then I started noticing the kitchen floor. Over a period of time: the pieces of diced celery I dropped while making the chicken salad. The small piece of spinach. The water spots I dripped on the floor and then I stepped in leaving a grimy soil. The chocolate morsel from MY brownie. And when I swept, just WHO brought in all that dirt? Tell me!

You know. And so do I. And it was not my husband. Leave me alone long enough with no one else to blame, and sooner or later, I'm either going to have to be deemed crazy saying the infamous Christmas Elf on the Shelf did it or I'm going to have to own up to my own shortcomings and issues.

I was not shocked last week when I read the Washington Post article that said "many prefer electric shocks to solitary thoughts." Saddened, yes. Surprised, no. It went on to say, "People, especially men, hate being alone with their thoughts so much that they'd rather be in pain. ... When it became clear that people were desperate for distractions, the researchers gave them access to a device that would provide a small electric shock. Six of the 24 women shocked themselves, and 12 of the 18 men did so." 

We are not talking about a long period of time here, people. They were only to sit with their thoughts for 6-15 minutes! 

If I can get spiritual a minute, I think this is why we don't like to practice the discipline of solitude and silence -- the practice of just being with God and our self alone. Because when we get alone, distractions are eliminated and He begins to show us our true self. Mercifully so, I might add. Alone with God, we start becoming aware of who we are. And when it's just God and us, we have no one else to blame. Everyone else is on leave and out of the picture -- sort of like my husband for those 2 weeks. I could blame him, of course, but I would just be lying to myself and everyone for that matter.

This solitude starts out simple enough, but at a certain time, it begins to heat up a little bit. God starts getting in our business. Things that we have forgotten or suppressed, painful hurts and rejections, things that affect the way we do life today, begin to surface. Things for which you and I have blamed others for years. And the only recourse is to press that shock button or take responsibility.

And so here is what I want to say. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, husband, for all the times I have blamed you ... and it wasn't your fault. I'm sorry, friends, for all the times I acted childishly because I was stuck in my childish ways. And to You, God, I'm sorry that I do not take the time to be alone with you and to allow you to awaken Your presence in me so that I might be free.

Who are you going to blame?

Just an ordinary moment...

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