Friday, October 26, 2007

They say...

They say that life can change in the blink of an eye. However, in my experience, those changes are sometimes unwanted. They come in the form of accidents and/or bad news. Now, I’m not a pessimist, but growing up and especially in the last few years, when my life decides to turn on a dime, there’s usually something unexpectedly unpleasant waiting for me around the corner. But, that is not what this is about.

They say that patience is a virtue. If this is true, we all could stand to be a little more virtuous, because, all the changes worth anything, like everything, take time. Whether it is pursuing higher education, building a family, or making feeble attempts to actually have a savings account, these changes we want in our lives and strive for take time, pain, and perseverance. Sometimes these goals are ones we’ve set for ourselves to elevate this experience we call life. However, some of the hardest goals we set for ourselves are the ones to get our lives back on track when that blink of an eye happens and we find ourselves lost, torn, and distraught.

They say that you must crawl before you walk. Having 2 nieces and 2 nephews, I now see how important those words are. However, having a family full of imperfect people (including myself), shows me truly what ‘they’ are talking about. If you know my family, or any family whatsoever, you know we stub our toes, trip and stumble, or fall flat on our faces. However, it never ends there. Through all of our struggles and trying times, we imperfect people take slow steps closer to perfection by not wallowing in the mess of our own doings.

People say a lot of things, some are poignant, some are funny. Luckily, these sayings are the former. They also come in handy in times when we are drastically reminded of just how imperfect we are. If and when that happens, changes must be pursued, patience must be adopted, and you must always crawl before you walk.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Let it rain...

Like the first drop of rain that starts a torrential storm, my day started small and mundane, but grew to become pivotal and poignant (Or as pivotal as any normal weekday can be). As I pressed my shirt and straightened my tie, I thought about the day that lay ahead of me. I work in retail banking, and anyone who has ever had a job that deals with customer service or people in general realize the challenge that comes with it. Therefore, on the way to work I thought about the customers I’d be dealing with and new coworkers I’d be working with. I took a moment to pray. In this small prayer, I asked God for the patience to help me through the day. Eight hours later, I was driving home on the tail end of rush hour and felt seething anger about the outrageous customer demands and beliefs on how I should do my job. My patience and I had graciously asked for seemed to never materialize.

Later that night, I heard a phrase that I hope and pray would stay with me for the rest of my life. ‘When you ask God for patience, does He just give you patience? Or does He give you opportunities to be patient?” After getting over the strange timing of this simple phrase, I began to look back on my day. In fact, God had given quite a number of opportunities to be patient, some might say, too many. Now like I said before, this started small. But like a seed that is nurtured and tended to, this small start began to thrive.

In my own personal times of darkness or doubt, I’ve dared to ask God to provide a sign that He truly exists and that good things can happen to good people. And right before I laugh and think I’ve called God’s bluff, I hear a story about my nieces or nephews that remind me that I have four beautiful miracles in my own family, or I stumble across the blessing that everyone I know and love are in my life, or I discover the truth that are the gifts and abilities I have been given in spite of recognition of where they came from.

When I was growing up and had a much more colorful relationship with my parents than I do now, I prayed that they would just understand me and that someday we would be close. Now, God didn’t just pour extra love into our hearts and deliver the “How To Be A Family for Dummies” book on our front porch. He gave and continues to give us opportunities to know what love truly is. The past months have made me realize that painful challenges and unconditional love can subside in one heart and make that heart beat faster and stronger with every breath you take.

Whether they are medical ailments, personal demons, or simple growing pains, the struggles one faces are what bad days are truly made of. However, after a day that started with a small prayer for patience and ended with a giant revelation, I know now that these bad days we face today, prove to be the answers we find tomorrow.
(Not pictured: Miracle #4)