Saturday, February 25, 2012



Normally I don't like 'If Onlys", but this morning this topic seems especially poignant. This week has been full of 'if onlys.'  Packed full of them!  If only I had more time, if only I could get rid of this pain, if only I hadn't said this,  if only they hadn't done that, if only things were different, if only! 

We all say things and do things we wish we had not done or said.  Later there is a sadness that doesn't seem to go away.  Have we injured someone beyond repair?  Can I fix this?  Will it be alright in the end?  Will the dust storm ever end?  Will life ever be what I wanted?  If only! If only!

Times can be tough.  People can be cruel, unforgiving, hurtful and judgmental.  People can steal our joy and throw us off course.  And perhaps these are the times when we have to trust and push past afraid.  Push past the boundaries created by others and do what your heart tells you is right. Feel what your heart reminds you that you feel.

Sitting for what seemed like endless hours in a sea of strangers waiting to renew my overdue driver's license, I had time to notice humanity, at its worst and finest.  It didn't take much scrutiny to isolate those in this crowd of 80-90 people, or more,  who had patience and those who did not.  I felt surrounded, crowded, and disgruntled with myself for waiting until my license expired, forcing me to endure this seemingly never ending wait.

A female voice would announce periodically the next number up!  969! 876! 104!  My number was 43.  Was my time not more valueable than this?  Why was I forced to sit and watch the most irresponsible mother I had ever seen, run up and down the aisles screaming, 'Michael.'  Her child was the epitome of obnoxous or beyond!  She was on her cell phone the entire time, dressed as something I choose not to define with words, only try and forget.  She wanted attention.  She got it.  Her child could not be contained and the thought crossed my mind of opening the door and seeing if he would run out and disappear from this hell we were all enduring to simply be able to drive a car.  If only I had renewed it a few days earlier.  If only I had never had to meet Michael!  If only!

Finally 46, 45, 44, and then me!  I was jublilant. I felt like a kid waiting for my ice cream cone and finally I got it with sprinkles!

 I felt certain there was a message here, a moral. I think this woman and her child managed to push every button I had.  But what if ... if only....I had abandoned the buttons she was pushing? 

And then I remembered a quote from Bruce Lee that I find solace in times like this, "I am not in this world to live up to your expections and you're not in this world to live up to mine."  But perhaps, just perhaps we are in this world to find that place in the middle, in between, where we both belong and can find joy and remember what really matters most.  Perhaps when all is said and done, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "We only need a heart of grace and a soul generated by love." The rest will work itself out and if you are lucky there will be sprinkles on top.

1 comment:

  1. Although not exactly the same, it is times like this that make me think about Zig Ziglar's story about kicking the cat.

    Sometimes you just have to let go and give the poor cat a break ;)