For people like me, there’s an if-then equation running through our heads at any given time. If I say this, then this person will say this or do this or react this way. If I keep my mouth shut, then everything will be fine. We wait for the other shoe to drop and calculate the risk of losing something you want for keeping the peace.
In the movie Chronicles of Riddick, there is a race of people called elementals.
Balance is everything to elementals. Water to fire. Earth to air. We have different words for it. But now we have only time to speak of the balance of opposites.
They continually calculate, joining sides depending on their survival rate of the outcome. They are quick to judge what could happen and what is most likely and logical. They find themselves compromising at times, even to their own freedom, in order to achieve a greater end result.
I find myself doing these things. I find myself doing some kind of relationship mathematic/logic problem solving routine, writing out if-then statements and trying to formulate a plan of action based on whether or not I like the end result.
And I sit back and I am pleased with life and I refuse to regret and I am proud of my achievements and all that I have done and will get to do because of what I have done. But then the self-doubt and the tendency to sabotage starts creeping in to my mind, like the dark of night falling ever so slowly and peacefully and without so much as an arrow shot in warning. I let the hope and excitement of what looks like a bright and possible future balance out with cautious reserve and a reminder of a failing track history. Like a fly that keeps coming back no matter how often you try to swat it away, you know you need to take out the real swatter and smack it down. But you don’t. You’d rather complain about it. And you’d rather let it tell you that you are going to mess up. It’s inevitable. And you start making excuses for yourself and for all your life thus far. And in the interest of balance, again, you realize, this time is completely different and for all my mistakes and missteps, this time I’m starting off on the other side – the right side – and if we’re really keeping track, I’m about due for something to balance out.
But then it hits me, like a fly swatter, and I’m smacked down and fallen on the floor – I’m not an elemental. I’m the daughter of the King. The One who doesn’t need to calculate, doesn’t have some kind of epic scale in the skies saying well you got your share of happiness and now you’re due for some misery. Instead He says “I got this. And yeah, you may struggle for a bit and you may take the long way around with all your scheming and secrecy. You may go all Frodo Baggins with your self-deceit and despair and longing for things of this world that will be your ruin. But in the end, I will always provide a way – I already HAVE and you just need to take it. And you have to wait for it and you have to believe that I am going to balance all things and bring what you need most when you need it most.”
And then I hear someone preach “How is God going to restore the kingdom? … through Holy Spirit filled people. Through the Church… as we wait.” And I pray come quickly, Lord Jesus, and restore us all. But in the meantime, thanks for the gifts of the people you give me until then! Help me to love them well and to balance everything better with each passing day. Amen!