Hope Is Painful

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…But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 

That scripture convicts me to think bigger and increase my willingness to believe in what I haven’t seen. But can we just take a second and be real about how painful it can be to have hope?

Have you ever wanted a job really badly? You feel like it’s yours so you share it with a friend? Then you don’t get it. So then you find another one and the excitement comes back, but you don’t get that one either. So next time you keep it to yourself so that your hopes aren’t up and you can take your loss quietly.

Have you ever wanted to see someone be healed from a life destroying disease? You pray for them. You pray for healing. You continue to watch them suffer. You pray harder because you have hope. Then, it gets to the point where you see that it’s not getting better. Against all logic, you press beyond the cognitive dissonance and you continue to have hope. You see them hurting and realize that they need and want rest, but you continue to believe. The hope helps your mind rest, but makes your heart ache because your heart acknowledges the reality.

Have you ever decided to open your heart to someone new only to find that they’re gonna break it too? Part of you wants to try again, but the other part just wants to admit that having hope sets you up for disappointment.

After so much hurt and disappointment, life teaches us to be pessimistic or unmoved so that the bad doesn’t damage and the good comes as a total surprise. But I just want to say that no matter how much it hurts, have hope. Believe only the best things are coming for you and your people. Somebody has to see the glass half full. If you can recall the hurt that all the above situations caused, you can also recall life going on and eventually getting better after them.

Hurt happens. So does healing. Keep hoping for the best.

OhCAE?

Give Me the Green Light

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September 2013

“Hey, Claricha! You can leave early if you like today. We don’t have many kids here so you can go.” Said my boss at 4:00 pm one Tuesday afternoon.

I popped up from my spot and bolted to the door. I had a smile a mile wide as I got on 496 E heading home to East Lansing. That smiled quickly faded as I got off on my exit and drove into a major traffic jam. Stop/go traffic all the way down this major street. I sat at one light for three cycles. (One of my driving pet peeves is sitting at a green light because it’s imbedded in everyone’s brain since early childhood that green means GO!) So here I am at a green light with my foot easing off the brake when the car behind slams into me.

We exchanged info and called the police and all that jazz. A broken bumper is all it cost me. The other girl’s hood was all messed up and she got a ticket for being at fault.

Fast forward to the other day (March 2014) when on my way to work I was sitting at another green light because of the traffic in front of me and I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that someone was about to hit my car. The driver threw his hands up and quickly switched lanes just as my heart stopped beating momentarily.

Later that evening, I was in Detroit and the two cars in front of me were sitting at a green light. The first one had hazard lights on. So I was sitting there waiting to get over when a car came driving really fast. I swerved quickly and I could hear the loud screech of their brakes. I shut my eyes tight and desperately prayed aloud “Please, don’t hit my car!” Luckily they stopped JUST in time.

I prayed and I asked God why that kept happening to me, but it wasn’t until today, May 10, 2014, I heard the answer.

Green means go. Most preschoolers in America can articulate that.

Sometimes we get the go ahead in life. All of the major signs are telling us to go for it. “It’s my legal right. I’m just doing what I’ve been taught to do.” But the reality of things is this, even if everything says go, there may be real reasons that prevent us from moving forward. And when you decide to charge forward and ignore the obvious things in your way, you cause a collision.

You have places to go, but don’t be so concerned with your agenda that you aren’t paying attention to the people around you and how their lives will be directly impacted by your decisions. They’ll get hurt, scared or upset and you’ll have to pay for the damage.

Update:
You’re an individual. You have rights. You can do what you want. Others shouldn’t be bothered by or pay attention to your choices. (See conversations about Raven Symone, Ray Rice’s wife, Tiny, same sex couples, cigarette smokers, gun carriers, abortion… Blah blah blah)
And I’m not saying there’s no merit to the individualism argument, I’m just a firm believer that no man is an island and we are all impacted the choices everyone makes.

How Stuff Works

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If you don’t know anything about the mechanics of cars, when yours breaks down you take it to someone who knows what they’re doing.

When your computer starts doing weird things you take it to a computer store because hopefully there’ll be someone there who knows how to fix it. 
 
When something goes wrong with your kitchen sink, you call someone who knows about kitchen sinks. 
 
When your life is in shambles, you try to fix it yourself.
 
Why? Are you the giver or maker of life? Do you *really* know how it works? 
 
When you make a mistake, learn from it but don’t try to fix it. Most of the time you’ll be making moves based on the same limited perspective that got you into the original predicament. 
 
Life will always happen the way it’s supposed to.
 
Relax, live, learn, apply and only look back BRIEFLY to see how far you’ve come.