Tuesday, August 08, 2006

one size fits all?

Sometimes life tends to feel like it's closing in on a body. I'm a dental technician by trade, and one piece of equipment in the lab that is used frequently is a vacuum adapter. I'm sure if Ronco could have come up with this for home use, you'd see it on infomercials. It is a machine that has a heating element which softens a square of plastic, and a base with holes for the vacuum that pulls the plastic over a stone model of a patient's gums. The model is completely and tightly encased in plastic if the procedure is done correctly. I was feeling like that model yesterday. Life's challenges were pulling themselves in on me to the point I could not breath. Or sometimes you feel like Play Dough, and life is the plastic extruder. I used to love to put that stuff through a garlic press or a cake decorating tube, too, which didn't make my mom too happy. That made the coolest hair, like Raggedy Ann. It's not fun if you are the dough, however.

Life is what it is, and has it's challenges. Those challenges are particularly hard to bear, I feel, when it seems like you've done "everything right". I could take being hit for stupid choices and decisions. At least there is some solace that a concrete reason is behind it. When there seems to be no reason, or it seems what you reap is not at all in proportion to what you sow, then things become painful. Why is the mailbox full of unexpected overdrafts, missed payments, things you didn't even know you owed, when you've joyfully given out of your own need to help others? Why does the career and business you've poured your life into never quite take off, when you've done your best to serve your clients and the public? Why is the child you so lovingly tended to as a baby and had such high hopes for now a stranger? How do you see the truth and not become bitter-what lense do you view these things through that seem so painfully unfair?

One clue came to me this morning as I took my daily walk and a garbage truck passed by. In August, in the heat and humidity, you cannot miss a garbage truck. The aroma reminded me how transient and perishable the world is, and everything in it. I was reminded that for all human children, life presents the one opportunity we have to be tried. Think of it. If you were never born, you'd never have a life to experience. When you die, every opportunity, every challenge, everything that can show up your inner "stuff" is gone. If through all the weirdness, gladness, sadness, questioning, the unexpected, the terrible, the wonderful-if through all of that we can walk through it with a smile, with hope, determined to know what God has and all that life holds without quitting, we've been successful and learned the lesson of being alive in the first place. Don't give up. A new day always brings the promise of a new life, and at the end of it all,
life eternal.


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8:23 AM  

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