Sometimes my life reminds me of one of those choose your own adventure books I read as a kid, where you would have to make a decision at a certain fork in the road in the story. You could choose what direction your journey would go. The choice you made would direct you to the next page you would turn to in order to continue the adventure.
Choice one, climb the mountain of Umba, and search for buried treasure or choice two, jump on the river boat and search for the lost city of Zibansu. Confession, I would always read all the options. Anyone else? I’ve always reflected on the what if’s and wondered how things may have played out differently, I think that’s human nature. I wish I had the answers moving forward too, long term answers, short term answers….at the moment I’d just like to know when Lysol, Clorox wipes, and toilet paper will be in stock. This Covid-19 quarantine adventure was not something I was expecting, but that’s the journey of life with all it’s bumps in the road. Right?
Life is an adventure. Each fork in the road leads down a different path and we will never know where the other path would have led us, but does it really matter? The past cannot be changed. Insert clip from, “The Lion King” where Rafiki hits Simba in the head and Simba gets upset, Rafiki laughs and says, it’s does not matter, It’s in the past.
Though we can’t change the past it does mold us into the humans we are today. I do enjoy reflecting though and exploring all I’ve learned along the journey or how mistakes have educated me.
Speaking of the past, when I was young we didn’t have cellphones, pagers (google it), answering machines or even cordless phones. If you called someone and they weren’t home, you just had to try again later or talk to them at school the next day and no one was stressed out about it. We didn’t text each other, we talked, passed notes in class, sent letters in the mail (mind blown, I know).
We talked on the phone for hours and hours with long cords stretched at far as they could go. We didn’t have computers and when we had to do reports we, wait for it….. went to the library or used our set of encyclopedias at home. When we had questions we couldn’t just talk to our phone “hey Siri” ,“hey Google” ,“hey Alexa” and get our instant answer. There was no instant gratification, the closest thing we had to that was when we would hear the ice cream truck and frantically ask mom for money and then bolt out the door to chase the sound into the distance. I’ve run blocks, yes blocks, barefoot for some ice cream many a time.
When I was young I wasn’t overloaded with choices. Our tv had had maybe 10 channels and no remote control. Yes, we actually got up to change the channel. We didn’t have a
VCR. We had to plan ahead to watch shows and if we missed it we missed it. I have fond memories as a child of my mom waking me up so I could come and watch the Charlie Brown movies during the holidays. I recall having a record player before cassette tapes came out. Shout out to all of use who know what it is to move the needle on the record to hear a song again or record a song you loved off of the radio on to your cassette. Can anyone say mix tapes!! Oh, life was simple when we would run around and catch fire flies and stay outside until the street lights came on or my mom whistled (you’ve never heart anyone whistle like hers) which could be heard by the whole neighborhood.
I appreciate the simplicity of my youth. I appreciate the things I’ve gone through in life that were easy and didn’t take much thought, but I’ve also learned to appreciate the painful things that I lived through. Rafiki hit Simba straight in the head and it probably hurt him (yes, I know it’s an animated film, but work with me here) but, the past cannot be changed we must learn and grow from all things that come our way. When I wrestle with the, “What if’s” I turn to God because my life adventure is a faith-filled one. God is my guide, my peace, my provider, my protector, my good Father, my friend, and my shelter in the storm. He is all of these things and so much more.
When the disciples were on the boat in the middle of a storm Jesus was with them, but he was asleep. They frantically called to him and asked for help and Jesus said, “Peace be still” and the storm died down. Here is the account in Mark 4:35-41 NKJV
“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side”. Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But then He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
Sometimes, it makes me feel better about my struggles and doubts when I know that the disciples walked with Jesus in the flesh and saw him perform miracles with their own eyes and still doubted him.
Jesus has been preaching and healing all day and it was time to, “cross over” the Sea of Galilee to the other side to continue his journey. Cross over…..I think a lot of us are in a time of crossing over. All of us are crossing over from the before and after Covid-19, social distancing, and lockdown/quarantine began. We are all experiencing different levels of that storm. Maybe it’s loneliness of missing people, or the craziness of trying to homeschool and work from home, maybe it’s job loss, or too much work, or bills, bills, bills. Or maybe this current storm is just magnifying an already existing storm we are dealing with such as divorce, addiction, inadequacy, insecurity, fear, domestic violence, too much time to think about all the “what if’s”, of our past and too much time to worry all the “how’s” and “when’s” about our future. Whatever the storm you may be currently experiencing, God says, “Peace be Still”.
Peace is most beautiful and powerful when there is a contrast just as light in a dark room shines brightest. God does His best work in the chaos. The most precious peace is in the middle of the storm where he meets us and even allows to have that walk on water faith. Keep your eyes on Him. He’s going to bring you to the other side. You will cross over to a different shore and things will change from what we once knew, but we will also be refined in our faith, through the storm. All the past storms, all the current storms they all whipped around like wind that smooths our rough edges just like desert rock formations. These beautiful masterpieces are formed over time and weathering just like us. We are God’s masterpieces. We are all going to be ok, in fact we are all going to come out stronger than ever before. Keep believing, keep going, keep trusting because adventure awaits.