Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Summer sprung right over spring

So, spring in my part of the world decided it wanted no part of us this year.  We went from snowstorms to summer weather in two weeks.

This made for a rougher than usual transition from one season to the next as I ended up packing away winter and spring coats/boots and shoes at the same time. Then, out came all the summer gear.  Its been busy and its got me thinking...do we always need to take every step and plod slowly through the expected paths in life?  Can we, as the erratic weather proves, sometimes just skip a step or two and still make it to the same destination?

I am a plotter and a planner.  I have brainstorming worksheets for everything, and I am a compulsive list-maker.  I think that these ways of organizing my thoughts and planning out my life give me some measure of control.  I think they have brought me success and prosperity.  Are these assumptions true?  Hardly. Partly.

While planning and working things out on paper help me clear my mind and plot out some eventual possibilities/outcomes/results of my decisions, these scribble sessions hardly constitute magic weapons.  I have come to see and know in my heart that writing a list helps organize my mind, but it doesn't give me the tools to take advantage of what life has to offer.

Sometimes, we need to throw out the list.  Make it in order to clear our minds and hearts, for sure, but then throw it out.  Wilfully, chuck it.  Dump it.  Try something new.  Life gives us ways of finding our way if we are paying attention and listening to our hearts and the Spirit that moves within us.  Through prayer and reflection we come to truth.  Truths about ourselves and the world around us; I really believe that.  The planning helps us make dreams into reality, but sometimes (not always) but sometimes, we need to drop the list out the window and watch it fall to the ground.

It is of this world, and our dreams and the possibilities that God has in store for us are not.  They can't be contained in a list and if we become slaves to the list, to the plan, to the plotted trajectory, we lose out on all the wonderful and edifying stuff along the way, down the 'other' path, on the other road.  That stuff is sometimes on the road we didn't take, even though we wanted to, because it wasn't on the list.  The really good stuff--even the painful experiences--are to be found, mostly, in unexpected places.

People don't often pass on to the other world on a schedule, but when they do, boy do we grow.

Children don't come, usually, exactly when we plan for them.  And yet, what teachers they are when they do arrive.  They are masters at leaving by routine while simultaneously throwing out the plan, changing the list, making every moment a new path.

Cars don't break down on schedule and emergencies are unexpected...that's why they are emergencies.

Taken in this way, life's hardships and joys--the things that make us who we are--are usually (in the mundane flat tires and the extraordinary experiences of birth and death) list busters.

So, while spring decided to take a break this year, so have I decided to take a break from my list.  My list is on hiatus.  I am navigating by starlight and moonbeams.  I am paying attention to what is, not what I thought would be.  My list is there, it will get written and re-written, but for now once its on paper, I'm not paying attention to it....not much, anyway.

P.S.  I've been crafting with the kids...so next post...pictures and ideas to share.

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