This is the second morning that I've been awakened at 3:00 a.m. I don't really know why that is other than I go to bed with the television on, and sometime around that time the laugh tracks from whatever is playing on Nick at Nite just seem to break through my consciousness. That...or the fact that I actually caught up on my sleep two days ago and my poor body simply doesn't know how to handle it.
I reached for the telephone that I usually put on my bedside table and saw a text message that someone sent me after I went to bed. Although I don't know the whole story, I do know that there was a tinge of disappointment in the heart of the sender. I suppose that all of us want the perfect made-for-TV life that excludes such things as sadness, worry, dependence, or fear. But life being what it is...there is always an equal chance of happiness or missed opportunities when we step out to do something out of our comfort zone or take a gamble on a relationship. Sometimes we just have to roll the dice and hope for the best.
"Sometimes" is one of those words that is nebulous and unsure of itself to me. It seems to lack conviction and is gray instead of black or white. It is undefined and unable to take a stand. It is somewhere between "always" and "never"...implying hope...but not commanding commitment or even the expectation of it.
Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Sometimes things work out the way that we want them to...and sometimes they don't. These little platitudes are the words that we tell ourselves so that we can either brace ourselves for a big disappointment or dare to keep hoping. Because in reality...sometimes things really do work out against all odds. Sometimes just a sliver of hope is all we need to keep believing that better days are ahead. Sometimes good things actually happen to us instead of other people...and because the option is still open...we continue to believe making it more likely that our disappointments will not crush us.
I have no idea why sometimes I believe a certain way only to find out that I could not be more wrong and other times - without knowing the facts - I judge correctly. I don't know why things sometimes work out as they should, and other times fail to work out for no apparent reason. I don't know why sometimes life is easy and full of joy and sometimes difficult and full of pain. Sometimes I feel that life is to be embraced and I have great hope that it will be more than it actually is at any given point in time. And sometimes I wonder why I thought that at all.
One reason, I suppose, is that by never knowing how something will turn out...faith is built from a pile of bricks into something beautiful and sustaining. Every day that we keep pressing forward, another brick is placed where it needs to be in God's master plan.
Or perhaps it is that if we knew the truth about our lives...what would be to our gain...and what we would have to suffer without...we might just elect to sit down somewhere and quit moving forward. Some people actually do this, you know. They just give up. They are buried under the rubble of disappointment.
Sometimes we need a drink of cool water that a little hope brings while we are engaged in the midst of a raging battle. Sometimes we need to know that the struggle we are tired of dealing with is worth it on the other side. Sometimes we need to understand that we are not unloved when we go through periods of doubting that God has us on His mind. Sometimes we just need to believe that the rainbow is just behind the storm that seems to be constantly raging in our lives.
I don't know why I got up so early again this morning, or why I happen to be frustrated at my lack of information and understanding about what is going on in someone's life. Calling for clarification at the crack of dawn just isn't an option if you want to keep your friends. I don't understand why things are sometimes ridiculously difficult to understand or why we sometimes have to take the circuitous route in getting from Point A to Point B.
I just know that eventually...most things work out exactly as they should. Sometimes we are told "no" because all that glitters is not gold. Sometimes we have to assume that God knows what is best for us. And yes, sometimes we just have to trust that the whole story is not yet written in the book of our lives.
But I am comforted by the knowledge that sometimes things end right...and better than I imagined. That sometimes God smiles on my plans and gives me the strength to keep going when everything around me seems to suggest that I should just pack it in. And sometimes I expend energy worrying about outcomes that will never be an issue anyway.
Yes, I'd like to move my faith from "sometimes" being happy with the outcome to "always." Who wouldn't? But the power to accept what IS remains always in my grasp. I can accept what IS as God's best for me today. It is always better than any plans that I might devise for myself in the long run. Whatever I am going through has been sifted through His fingers...and if I am living it...then it has purpose.
What IS may sometimes line up with what I believe I want...and other times may seem like a total waste of time or a missed opportunity. My job is not to judge. It is to accept, to obey, and to trust.
I have to remember that sometimes.