I am sure you have heard the saying, when life gives you lemons make lemonade or some other delectable lemon treat. I think that saying has an age shelf life. It may be for the teens and young adult years when life is simpler. After this time, life pulls the soft wool from your eyes and starts handing you hard core manure that keeps coming and before you know it, you are knee deep and tired of shoveling.
A Steaming Pile: You get thrown these less than pleasant stenches like health issues, body wear and tear, relationship difficulties when you have already established a home, death of people you love, chronic loneliness, bouts of depression, job dissatisfaction with no idea what to do next, crisis in faith etc. These are the manure of real life in which there are no quick and easy fixes and it becomes a struggle to see through the steaming pile in order to appreciate your blessings.
There is something to be said of experience and age. You don’t necessarily become wiser but you start to filter through everything in your life in order to figure out what are the important keepsakes and what you need to find.
The Life of People: Jesus had 12 disciples. He went fishing for men at the beginning of his ministry. He was not just recruiting people to pass on the message, he was also recruiting friends who would become family. Even though the ministry was important, there was the understanding that certain things are going to roll heavily down hill and he needed to have supports. They needed to have supports. Jesus was about the life of people.
Make or Break You: The older you are the more you realize how people play a significant role in your life. One act of kindness can stimulate your joy factor. One act of selfishness can crack your spirit and shake your foundation. Your supports have such a powerful influence that at the right moment, they can make or break you – family, friends, and intimate partners. It is the dirty part of life. The closer you are to others the more power you give them to affect your life in different ways – this is the acceptable risk of being connected. Sometimes it pays off very well and other times you realize your mistake.
The Right Shovel: The manure is going to come, ready or not, but having the right tools help to manage the load. The tools are you and the ones who have your back. When things are overloaded, you can reach out for help, support and just have someone be there. When you have that, it does a world of good. When you are alone, you are desperate for the right shovel.
When you are desperate, you grab for anything like a drowning man. You grab for the temporary, the unhealthy, the mediocre, the broken, or the only thing in line of sight. You convince yourself that it is good enough to get you through that knee-deep stench but with time and prayer (lots of it), you hopefully start to see things clearly for what it is – adding to your pile.
The World of Love: You never realize how important love is until you lose it, missing it, found it or dealt a bad batch. You thrive on the concept of that simple four letter word. The Bible got it right, to know me is to love me. Do you ever stop to think about the impact of that statement? When someone truly knows you, he/she can truly love you. This is very different from having you around in order to fulfil his/her own wants, needs and desire.
There is no thoughts of selfishness, every behavior is orchestrated to bring joy (to other and in tern self) not distress. The basic act of physical connectedness is gentle and meant to soothe for comfort and pleasure not for pain, not in a rush or to fulfill a quota. Love listens and is attending.
Love is emotion in action – given and received. The ones who truly know you and love you will always understand this. Everything else is self-serving wrapped in a disguise.